Trusting Big Brother   2 comments

Big Brother“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

1984, by George Orwell

So now you should know the federal government is gathering data from millions of calls every day.

Who calls who. Where calls originate, and where they go.

American citizens calling American citizens … and it is being monitored because the government has decided its a good idea.

And, by now you may know that the reaction to this is … (yawn).

Everyone wants the terrorists to be stopped. Can we prevent another 9/11? Then do so, please. Just don’t give us the details. We trust you to get it right.


Right now, trust is in very short supply. We don’t trust Obama to tell the truth about how the IRS is targeting the tax-exempt status of political enemies. We don’t trust Bush to tell us who our enemies are. We don’t trust Christie to choose when to elect a Senator (Oh, wait, we do trust him, and New Jersey has now done a $24 million giveaway because he thinks it’s good for his political career).


A leaked court order has Verizon giving the NSA “telephony metadata” – such as what phone number called what phone number, from where to where – for all calls involving domestic US callers. That court order would not have been made public until 2038, except for this leak and its publication. What do you think: are the other cellular providers also turning over their data? That’s a secret … still.

But let’s all trust faceless bureaucrats in the intelligence community who are collecting millions of datapoints from innocent, unsuspecting citizens every single day because it just might lead them to figuring out another terrorist attack.

Oversight? Well, that’s secret. How much is this costing? Well, that’s secret. Congressional approval? Well, they are kept informed, trust me. And that’s secret.

Did it prevent the wackos from bombing the Boston Marathon? No. Did this prevent a wacko from shooting up Santa Monica yesterday? No. Did this prevent a pregnant wacko from mailing ricin-laced letters from Texas in a bid to implicate her husband? No.

But it’s a good thing. Trust us.

“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

– Barack Obama, 6/7/2013

President Obama is on board with the program, but his obfuscation about how it works and what the benefits are is troubling. His obsession with prosecuting journalists for investigating government activities indicates he really doesn’t want independent evaluation of his administration’s actions. (He did say he found the leaks “troubling.”) That’s why his justice department got permission to monitor communication through the Associated Press — to see who they’re talking to, and see what they’re writing about. He needs to know that, because he knows best what information should be released about the activities of his administration.

We’re just supposed to trust him.

Please, don’t think this is an anti-Obama thing. It’s not. It’s about trust.

I trust open, transparent governance. I trust independent thought. I trust an independent free press.

But I don’t trust Big Brother.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 1791


Please read the chilling article by Jack Shafer, link below, which updates and extends the news about the leaks that have happened and continue to happen.


New York Times: Intelligence for Dummies “Trust Us,” says the President

Digital Trends: Leaked NSA Order…. The Spy Who Came In For Your Soul by Jack Shafer

2 responses to “Trusting Big Brother

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