NSA Surveillance

Most people have very little that needs to be hidden. This does not suggest that they don't deserve absolute privacy in their personal communications and papers. The few people who are doing good works that don’t coincide with the current government agenda are the individuals who need privacy and protection. Consider how much Martin Luther King and John Lennon were harassed by the government. We cannot let the government have the information to persecute activists and whistle blowers.

Looking around I see a lot of people looking dazed. Are they as bewildered and disheartened at what their country has become? Are they as outraged and terrified?

Whether as an carefree teenager making careless, embarrassing mistakes, or as a political activist whose views conflict with the current party in power or with a government agency, or as a writer whose fictional subjects are dark or in any way controversial, or as any private citizen; when the entire contents of your private life are accessible for total recall by a government agency and stored with the potential to be compromised and used whether accurately or to be misconstrued to malign, indict, harass and investigate it is inconceivable to me how any cognizant human being would not be concerned.

The fact that private companies already have this data is irrelevant. Private companies don’t have the power to control political adversaries which destroys the basis of a free democratic society. These private companies also don’t have the consolidated access to your data across multiple companies and platforms. And it is not conceivable that they were storing every piece of data in perpetuity for anything other than marketing.

If you are okay with the NSA scooping up everything that you and your children do online and saving it for posterity, then continue voting Democrat and Republican because neither party has stood up against this Constitutional breach.


Adam Schiff's Record on Surveillance

Adam Schiff has a diehard profile as a lawmaker loyal to the intelligence establishment that instituted NSA surveillance. He voted for the original Patriot Act (HR 3162) and voted to make the Patriot Act permanent with the Patriot Reauthorization Act of 2005 (HR 3199). Schiff also voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (HR 6304) and voted for the FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 (HR 514) against the majority of all Democrats. Schiff continued the attack on our civil liberties by voting for Patriot Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 (S 990) and voting for the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012 (HR 5949).

In reform efforts just this year, Schiff voted against the well-regarded Massie-Lofgren Amendment and instead voted for the weakened USA Freedom Act (HR 3361). The USA Freedom Act had been so altered by the time it went to the House floor for a vote that the overwhelming majority of civil liberties groups that had previously praised the bill withdrew their support, and many of its original co-sponsors who supported for the Massie-Lofgren Amendment also chose to vote against the bill.

Schiff’s major donor is the defense industry, and on August 25, 2013 he appeared on CNN in support of U.S. military action in Syria. The prospect of military action in Syria provided a convenient distraction from the firestorm of ongoing revelations regarding the NSA surveillance overreach. Fortunately, after mass public outcry this action was averted.

 

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