Civil rights took another hit in the United States last week, as the incremental degradation of the average American’s right to privacy marches on.
Last week, Obama signed new guidelines allowing the “intelligence” community to retain electronic data believed potentially useful in the “War on Terrorism” for five full years (up from the previously allowed 18 months).
Maybe you’re aware of this change already, but I’d bet that most Americans aren’t, and, if they’ve heard about it, I’d bet they aren’t thinking about what it means.
What it means is that the United States is moving toward full, unfettered monitoring of its citizens.
J. Edgar Hoover (I saw the movie recently on a plane) started the tradition. Data collection for the “good of the American public”…as he interpreted that agenda.
J. Edgar’s target was communists. The target du jour is terrorists.
Is There A Pattern Here?
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I’d be naïve to think that the U.S. government isn’t using every resource available to keep tabs on us. And now they’re doing it with the blessing of the president and the full force of the law enforcement services behind them. Use a debit card, a credit card, or a cell phone, and you leave a trail. You can’t avoid it. And now the government has formal permission to hold those kinds of records for five years with or without any probable cause…for no other purpose than to data-mine. For the good of the American people…
Unfortunately, the feds today have a far easier job of it than did the Father of the Feds, Hoover. Today’s technology is making it ever-easier for the government to invade our privacy without us knowing it. And, in some cases, we help. Post something personal online, on Facebook, for example, and the world knows it. The world, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
And now the FBI can store that information and cross-check it with other databases for up to five years.