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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/16/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

NSa and our government are lying as a matter of routine --to protect you.

The National Security Agency has committed thousands of privacy violations, including unconstitutional data gathering according to its own audits and the secret court which oversees it. Senators have referred to the latest revelation based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden as "disturbing."

The NSA violates the rights of Americans on a routine basis, an internal audit revealed.

The NSA violates the rights of Americans on a routine basis, an internal audit revealed.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/16/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: NSA, emails, search, freedom, spying, Constitution, IRS


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has violated the fundamental rights of thousands of Americans, and possibly millions, without regard for the Fourth Amendment. The documents show that an internal audit documented 2,776 separate incidents of unauthorized data collection. Some of those incidents targeted just one individual, but others possibly targeted thousands or more.

The audit was dated May 2012, and covered just the prior year. The unauthorized activities were attributed to a variety of occurrences. Causes were attributed to operator error, failures to follow procedures, typos, training issues, and system errors.

Most alarmingly, the violations grew each quarter with 546 reported in the second quarter of 2011 and 865 in the first quarter in 2012. It almost seems as if individuals in the NSA have begun to run rampant with their powers and have diminishing regard for privacy.

The NSA has responded to the leak saying they take these incidents seriously.

Despite that claim, the numbers do not lie. The number of incidents and people involved appears to be growing.

The NSA surveillance programs are vast and varied. The agency has developed the means to tap into virtually all of an individual's communications and routinely aggregates vast amounts of data, both of mass groups of people, and on individuals. Many of those individuals are Americans. Often, the NSA has no Constitutional right to do what it likely does each day to Americans.

To date, the NSA claims that at least 50 terror plots have been foiled before they could harm anyone. So far, the program appears to have worked as intended and has targeted evildoers. However, the slippery slope is very real.

Last week it became known that the NSA was also feeding information to the IRS so the tax agency could target people who were illegally generating money from illicit trade. The IRS then doctored their legal records to cover up the source of their NSA tips.

Nobody has any love for terrorists and drug traffickers. However, the IRS involvement and cover up reveals a stark truth about our government.

Our government is pursuing Machiavellian policies and lies to the people about it as a matter of routine. This is criminal and has the potential to eclipse even terrorism as a threat to the American people.

Those policies involve you and I, even if we do not yet realize it. Last May we learned that conservatives were being targeted by the IRS. Who's to say the NSA isn't also involved in monitoring conservatives.

Last month, we discussed how the NSA and other firms were developing predictive software that can actually predict where people will be in the future, and what they will be doing, and even with whom. As much as two years into the future!

With such data in hand, what's to say that someday the powers that be won't use it to shape public perception and opinion. What's to say the power won't be abused at some point? History teaches us that every technology invented by humans is eventually corrupted in the quest for power and the lust for war.

Someday, we will become victims of the system, but by the time we notice, we will be so caught in the web that disentanglement will be impossible. Indeed, we may already be there.

We must change everything right now, starting with a bright public spotlight on the NSA and all agencies that cooperate with it. The current administration owns this crisis of liberty and should answer for it.

However, we cannot expect our elected representatives, more concerned with winning their next election than serving the people, to do anything about it.

What are you going to do?

---


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