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  • Dec 27, 2014
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CommentInsight & Opinion

US surveillance policy shows it cannot be trusted

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 1:20am

How often have we heard American leaders talking about transparency and accountability? The US holds itself up as the world's shining example of good governance, the moral judge of democracy, rule of law, media freedom and basic rights. These are standards by which we all should ideally live. Yet the case of Edward Snowden, the former CIA computer technician who has blown the whistle on the National Security Agency's intelligence gathering, has revealed that the US government does not always practice what it preaches, even at home.

Critics have long observed the missionary-like zeal with which Washington has promoted democracy US-style. The US State Department's annual critique of the human rights of other governments has rankled, especially while the US military continues to hold without trial foreign detainees at its Guantanamo Bay facility. Snowden's claims, backed by documents passed to journalists, that authorities are spying on citizens in the US and elsewhere without their knowledge or permission should therefore not be surprising. The depth and breadth of the operation is impressive - data is being farmed from billions of sources.

Potentially, information has been gathered from every adult American and Snowden says the reach has been wider and could involve a billion or more people. But the scale is not the biggest shock - it is the secrecy. Politicians have assured us that there is no need to worry, that systems have been properly vetted so that the data is securely stored and not open to abuse.

Therein lies the problem: can the word of American politicians and intelligence agencies be trusted? If the invasion of Iraq to eliminate weapons of mass destruction that were never found and the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay are guides, the answer is, "no". James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told the Senate in March that the NSA did not "wittingly" collect data on millions of Americans. Snowden's revelations call this claim into dispute.

A discussion is now under way on privacy and the limits of surveillance. It should not have taken an IT contractor with a conscience for righting wrongs for that to happen. Instead, the administration of President Barack Obama should have been open and transparent about its anti-terrorism operations. Until the US begins living up to the standards it demands of others, there is little chance of its damaged credibility being repaired.


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@"Until the US begins living up to the standards it demands of others, there is little chance of its damaged credibility being repaired."
Precisely, but can you get that down the throats of the pan-democrats who are keen to introduce the same fake and flawed system of "freedom and democracy" in Hong Kong? They have their heads in the sand.
Bubble Burster
Let's not forget the Patriot Act was put in place by GWB. The purpose of it was to temporarily waive a warrant ONLY when there was suspicion or probable cause to focus in on an INDIVIDUAL up to no good. The Patriot Act was NEVER intended to be a mass metadata surveilance on LEGAL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. Obama, AGAIN is trying to undo our Constitution and rid himself of people that oppose him - just as he had done with IRS audits targeting those that opposed Obama.
What has been done by Obama in SECRET is an outrage and totally against our Constitutional rights! No "secret meetings" are supposed to undo an American's Constitutional rights. No representative has the right to SECRETLY undo our Constitutional rights. Yes this came from Obama whether he admits it or not. Let's put it this way when Obama's lips move - he's lying about something. For example he tried to claim that "nobody is listening to you ....". Heck they don't have the resources to "LISTEN" to everyone but the CONTENT of the phone call or the e-mail is recorded and stored for eternity.
Clearly true terrorists are NOT being targeted. Just look at the Boston bombing where the marathon took place. Russia WARNED the U.S. twice about these two Muslim. The FBI interviewed them twice - no problem with them. WHY weren't their e-mails and phone calls recorded and this stopped? It is because Obama see legal U.S. citizens as the "terrorists" to be watched - especially those that oppose him. Do not trust Obama!
Bubble Burster
What you may not understand is this is how Obama is trying to "fundamentally transform the United States". This is NOT what America is about and why we are outraged here. Is it OBAMA you cannot trust.
Obama is trying to undo our Constitutional rights. He is trying to disarm us but that isn't working out to well. So he has Homeland Security buying up all the amo! Obama HATES his opposition so he had them targeted for IRS audits.
Obama is bankrupting our country, leaving our borders WIDE OPEN, ignoring federal law to DEPORT illegals because he "doesn't like that law" and undermining our morality by pushing homosexuality and putting WOMEN in combat positions. ALL these stances and more are violations of our culture and Judeo Christian culture. Obama LIES. Obama wants chaos. He's itching for martial law that would suspend our Constitution and give him dictatorship ability.
Obama HATES the United States and ALL it stands for. He has made the U.S. a laughing stock. It's becoming more insane each day. Another example is our military has been threatened to NO view "Obama scandals in the news".... this is another violation. Military men and women are NOT allowed to read conservative authored books in uniform or eat food from Chicfillet (chicken fast food restaurant against same sex marriage) or they would be disciplined. All this is contrary to FREEDOM.
In a nut shell, Obamathroug FRAUD was re-elected. He does not represent the U.S. at large. Obama is evil
what credibility...this is bloody nonsense....preaching about human rights...look into the gulag and Bradley manning...accusing China of spying...here we go....they are even more extensive and spying on us as well...the whole world is under their surveillance friends or foe...at least china is more open and transparent...they do admit all the above..
Harold Cameron
Let's not forget that despite all their posturing & interventions in Iraq & Afghanistan America cares not a single jot for the people of any country other than the United States. All their posturing is simply smoke & mirrors trying to justify their intervention in other countries affairs simply because these countries don't see things as the US think they should.


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