Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/30/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The abuse of such power has already begun.

"The Matrix has you," or thus spoke Morpheus to Neo in the blockbuster movie "The Matrix." A decade ago, that movie was science fiction. Today, it is chilling reality.

As more becomes known, it's probably safe to assume they collect everything.

As more becomes known, it's probably safe to assume they collect everything.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/30/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: NSA, emails, search, freedom, facebook, spying, everything, DEA, IRS, abuse, Machiavellian


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a creepy cross between Hollywood's "The Matrix" and George Orwell's 1984, we now know the NSA is collecting data on Americans from social networks, GPS tracking, and call logs. The agency is free to collect that data without any regard for "foreignness" either.

The latest data dump from the Snowden leak reveals that the NSA is using social networking, GPS, and phone metadata to track individual movements and associations. According to the New York Times, the NSA can tell where you are, who you're with, and often, what you're doing.

Having an extramarital affair? The NSA can determine that with a reasonable degree of accuracy and without bothering to search the specific text or content of your communication.

Are you traveling overseas? The NSA can now calculate where you are and whom you are with.

All of this allows the NSA to locate, follow, and ultimately enable the authorities to apprehend or disrupt terrorist plots.

However, it also treads on questionable constitutional grounds. A memorandum dated January 2011 says that the agency was now authorized to perform "large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness." Those permissions extended to email addresses, phone numbers, and any other kind of identifier.

This means that despite protestations of the Obama administration to the contrary, the administration lied to us about contacts needing to be foreign or needing at least some taint of foreign connection to be valid for collection. The information can be seized at any time, on any person, for any reason or none at all. Currently, your information is being aggregated and can be freely searched without a warrant.

The New York Times also mentioned that  "The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such 'enrichment' data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners."

Nor is the NSA the only agency collecting and using data on individuals. Last month it was learned that the NSA was cooperating with the DEA and forwarding information on suspected drug traffickers to the IRS for use in their cases and the IRS was caught falsifying reports to cover up NSA assistance.

Nobody has any love for drug traffickers, and certainly not terrorists, however it brings to mind the question of who else besides the DEA and IRS is being assisted by the NSA and for what crimes? More importantly, when does all this go too far? While we can abide (for the most part) a program that is used exclusively to hunt terrorists and criminals, what is to prevent its use to hunt you?

The IRS tips, although used to pursue bad people, also represent the slaughter of a sacred cow. The agency has crossed the line. Our elected officials have already been caught lying to us.

A Machiavellian "the ends justify the means" approach to law enforcement can quickly devolve into a police state where virtually anybody can become a suspect. Imagine a not-too distant future where those who oppose Obamacare or the HHS abortion edict suddenly become enemies of the system?

Sound far fetched? Keep in mind that the IRS was recently used to target conservative groups, based on "signals" sent by the Obama administration. Another sacred cow sacrificed, and not at all in the name of law and order.

Also, bear in mind that books like 1984 and movies like "The Matrix" were within the realm of science fiction just a decade ago.

Today, they are for all intents and purposes, reality. The greater stretch of the imagination then, is to think that perhaps these tools won't be abused in the decade to come.

Fair warning.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Live the Easter Way! The Holy Spirit which Transformed the Early Church Enlists Us! Watch

Image of Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminates the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I just watched Pope Francis preside at the Easter Vigil at the Basilica of St Peter. His homily on encountering Jesus and finding our own Galilee was beautiful. Now, I am about to depart for the Easter Vigil at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. I will greet the ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter