@RagBagUSA #AskSnowden what (in your opinion) is the appropriate extent of US national security apparatus? Surely some spying is needed?
Not all spying is bad. The biggest problem we face right now is the new technique of indiscriminate mass surveillance, where governments are seizing billions and billions and billions of innocents communication every single day. This is done not because its necessary after all, these programs are unprecedented in US history, and were begun in response to a threat that kills fewer Americans every year than bathtub falls and police officers but because new technologies make it easy and cheap.
I think a person should be able to dial a number, make a purchase, send an SMS, write an email, or visit a website without having to think about what its going to look like on their permanent record. Particularly when we now have courts, reports from the federal government, and even statements from Congress making it clear these programs havent made us any more safe, we need to push back.
This is a global problem, and America needs to take the lead in fixing it. If our government decides our Constitutions 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures no longer applies simply because thats a more efficient means of snooping, were setting a precedent that immunizes the government of every two-bit dictator to perform the same kind of indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance of entire populations that the NSA is doing.
Its not good for our country, its not good for the world, and I wasnt going to stand by and watch it happen, no matter how much it cost me. The NSA and the rest of the US Intelligence Community is exceptionally well positioned to meet our intelligence requirements through targeted surveillance the same way weve always done it without resorting to the mass surveillance of entire populations.
When were sophisticated enough to be able to break into any device in the world we want to (up to and including Angela Merkels phone, if reports are to be believed), theres no excuse to wasting our time collecting the call records of grandmothers in Missouri.
@Valio_ch #asksnowden Do you think that the Watchdog Report by Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board will have any impact at all?
I dont see how Congress could ignore it, as it makes it clear there is no reason at all to maintain the 215 program. Let me quote from the official report:
Cessation of the program would eliminate the privacy and civil liberties concerns associated with bulk collection without unduly hampering the governments efforts, while ensuring that any governmental requests for telephone calling records are tailored to the needs of specific investigations.