So now we know that the FISA court, the one that's supposed to oversee spying by the government, took the NSA to task for illegally surveilling thousands of American e-mails. These were communications, mind you, that had nothing to do with terrorism. We are to believe that it was inadvertent, an accident, not something done deliberately.
What they don't say is why anyone should believe them.
Remember, the NSA, the President, just about anybody who was quoted on the matter said categorically that this wasn't happening. It was. Now the question is why any American should think they have a shred of privacy left. Should we all burn our computers, and go back to a simpler form of communication? That might not even work. A couple of things are clear.
One is this. America's intelligence apparatus is completely out of control. The leaks exposed by Edward Snowden have turned into a raging river of spying utterly without precedent. No one is saying that surveillance conducted to root out terrorism should be eliminated. We all want to be safe. Yet much of what's been revealed thus far speaks to government voyeurism. When a family on Long Island looks up pressure cookers on the Web, only to be visited by law enforcement knocking at their door, things have gone too far.
So the question is, what's to be done?
Perhaps Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden have at least some answers. This pair have warned for awhile now about the potential for excess in America's spying programs.It may all go for naught, however. One wonders if we will adapt to this brave new world rather than it changing to truly respect our privacy.
Is our only hope to live off the grid? You tell me.