Thursday, October 31, 2013

Of Spying

Ridgecrest Conference Center, North Carolina – People do in private things they would not do in public. We say to ourselves, sometimes aloud, things we would never say to another, and certainly not in giving a speech. We say to our friends what we would never say to some other people. But are you being watched?
It has now been released that in one month alone, the NSA, tracked about 60 million calls in Spain, and also in one month, about 30 million in France. According to some reports, even Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany’s phone was being tapped.
Apparently, according to recent revelations from newspapers such as The Guardian, and The Washington Post, without their knowledge, major information sites with lots of traffic, such as Yahoo and Google, are also being gleaned for information, without even the use of a court order.
These leaks, which have been coming at least in large part from Edward Snowden, former American contractor, are causing widespread debate and even attempts to end these processes from congress. It reminds one of the necessity of privacy in one’s own life. Even the NSA gets embarrassed and sometimes changes things when everybody else knows what is going on behind closed doors.
In, it appears, an attempt to find the reasons for the leak and to kill the story, several news agencies have reported having their records collected, and documents taken, to find sources by the authorities.
Just as the freedom of the press is protected by the first amendment to the constitution, so also it is one of the first necessities of a free society. Many prison camps have remained open, many corrupt politicians who were stealing money from the working classes have remained in office, until a photographer showed up to document the suffering, or until a journalist arrived to tell the truth.
But as the governments of the world must be kept a watch over by the people, the people still have a right to privacy. To live their lives in peace. To call their house during a hard day of work, and not have to know that that call is being monitored by some agent somewhere. To send a message to a friend without the fear that it will be tapped and read because of the possibility that an email about a birthday party may be a terrorist plot.

Andrew C. Abbott

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