Thursday, March 20, 2014

Edward Snowden: more from his TED Talk

In his surprise TED Talk Tuesday, Edward Snowden mentioned the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court of no fewer than 15 federal judges which upheld the legality of NSA data collection with its PRISM program.

Snowden added that the legality of the program had been challenged by some companies (he named Yahoo), but it "was never tried by open court, only by secret court. This has been a talking point in the US government, that 15 federal judges reviewed the programs and found them to be lawful. What they don’t tell you is those are secret judges in a secret court making secret interpretations of the law. There have been 34,000 warrant requests in 33 years and they only rejected 11 government requests. These aren't the people we want deciding what the role of corporate America in a free society should be."

Secret surveillance, secret courts made up of secret judges whose very identities are not known to the public, making secret interpretations of the law ... is this the America I was born in?  I don't think so.

Again, though, it's not the government you should fear ... it's the people who are only too willing to let these things happen unopposed.  If only to a friend, voice your opposition.  Do it today.