The nature of the way Americans consume media today has created a frightening ignorance, or perhaps intolerance, of habitual abuses.
What I mean to say is, we are so caught up in scrolling to the newest story, that we often completely gloss over some wildly important information. For instance, the debacle at the NSA.
For years, Americans have understood that the National Security Agency was very, very likely to be recording their phone calls, without warrant, and without reason. This was a major news story as far back as 2001, and resurfaced again in 2007 when the program itself took a turn.
In other words: We have been explicitly complicit in allowing the government to see and hear our every thought, note, text message, voicemail, or audio message, simply because we have moved on to the next thing? Sadly, this seems to be true.
And, if you are thinking that this is just some kooky conspiracy theory worthy of an Alex Jones-esque rant, why don’t we take it from the NSA themselves.
The U.S. National Security Agency collected more than 534 million records of phone calls and text messages from American telecommunications providers last year, tripling the amount of data it collected in 2016, according to a report released Friday.
Service providers like AT&T and Verizon are providing much of the data. That includes records of phone calls received and made, but not the actual contents of what was said, according to the report from the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
So, what gives with the huge increase?
The report does not explain why the increase in data collection was so large.
Alex Joel, the office’s own chief civil liberties officer, told the New York Times it may be due to the amount of data companies are keeping, whether a target uses multiple phones, how the telecommunications industry creates records and duplicate records.
The triple increase was dismissed as a fluctuation.
From where I’m sitting, this looks like a fairly clear abuse of power perpetrated directly on We The People by those in the upper echelons of governmental power.
Back in Jefferson and Washington’s days, that sort of behavior wouldn’t have been tolerated. Perhaps, instead of allowing the liberal left to rewrite history by vilifying these men, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them.