Note: This is meant to be more of a solicitation of opinions rather than me just spouting off mine. Understanding what others think often goes a long way into forming my own thoughts on a topic so I certainly welcome everyone’s view.
The news today is all about President Obama and his announcement changing how the government does its anti-terror snooping. All in all, the gist seems to be that President Obama wants there to be more limits and regulations on what information the NSA can (and cannot) collect.
In some ways, I think the President is absolutely correct: there should be limits and perhaps some added disclosure on what our government is doing in terms of reading our emails, monitoring our text messages, collecting voice mail data, etc.
I, for one, have long been frustrated at how our individual liberties and rights have been slowly, and systematically, taken away over the years under the guise of safety; a process that seems to have accelerated immediately following 9/11.
So to pull the proverbial reigns back on that, even just a bit, seems like a step in the right direction.
However, it’s certainly reasonable to expect that the government should protect its people and to do so sometimes requires actions that the people shouldn’t know about nor should want to know about. This could include covert military actions, intelligence gathering, and general spying (both domestic and abroad).
I read that the NSA collects over 200 million text messages – from both foreigners and Americans – every day. Does this bother me? It absolutely should. Yet, it really doesn’t.
Maybe I’m naive enough to think that the government doesn’t really care what train I took home today or that a friend and I are planning to see “Lone Survivor” this weekend.
Maybe I’m just too dimwitted to understand how knowing that my son passed a sight-word test at school could be used against me or could play any role in protecting our borders.
The government more-than-likely looks at my five daily text messages and moves right along to the remaining 1,999,995.
Again, I’m torn on this. I can’t stand the fact that we’re constantly being watched and monitored by our own government. Yet at the same time, I’m too boring to really cause anyone any concern.
Though as I’m thinking about it now, I doubt much will change as a result of President Obama’s speech today. In this case, the government simply got caught and is backpedaling. It’s a dog and pony show to appease the masses.
Oh sure, it’ll generate some great back-and-forth sound bites among the political parties in Washington. There’ll certainly be some show boating on both sides as the GOP will say the Democrats are too soft on security while the Democrats beat their chests that they’re protecting individual freedoms.
Yet behind closed doors, the status quo will remain the same and both political parties will actually agree that more needs to be done – to be sure they don’t get caught with their pants down again.