The Better Man?
#1 “The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”
#2 “…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”
#3 “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”
#4 “…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
#5 “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”
#6 “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
#7 “Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”
#8 “To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”
— Eric Snowden
Montag knew this. Montag’s father and his grandfather had been firemen. It had been his duty for many years to start fires. He knew it was his duty to burn books, but this day would be different.
Montag arrived on the scene to do his job, but found a woman who wouldn’t leave. He complained that she had all of her books but still wouldn’t leave. Undeterred, Montag proceeds with the other firemen to douse her books-and her-with kerosene. The woman shouts out and goads them. She is indignant that they would touch her books at all and she still wouldn’t leave. She says to them: “Play the man, Master Ridley; today we will light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, that it won’t be forgotten.”
They keep dousing her with kerosene and she says it again: “Play the man, Master Ridley. Today we will light such a candle.” … The reference is to 16th century figure Hugh Latimer, who literally became a human candle. He was burned at the stake in 1555 for heresy-opposing the state religion. He wanted to promote the idea that the Bible should be translated into English, which the state forbade.
In America today, we’re not yet burning people at the stake, fortunately. Nor are we burning books. But your government is interested in what books you read. They’re interested in what you say in your phone calls. They’re interested in what you write in your emails.
As we all now know from the National Security Agency (NSA) revelations last summer, such government surveillance of citizens has been going on for a while now.
In the Summer of 2012, I asked for a report on this subject and was given a classified briefing. I wanted to know to what extent your privacy was being invaded. To what extent government was reading your emails, listening to your phone conversations without a judge’s warrant. At the time, I couldn’t tell you the answer because it was classified.
— Rand Paul
In deference to Mr. Paul, good man that he probably is, what did he risk? Family? Job? Locale? Nary a thing did his personage risk other than being identified as asking for a report. And that under the color of non disclosure never to see the light of day. Mr. Snowden pretty much sacrificed it all. That he is not sitting in some Egyptian jail cell right now being brutalized by his pervious employer is a miracle.
In today’s environment no one is safe. ANYTHING can be disclosed about you. Dregged up. Used against you. Does not even matter if it is legal, all it requires is that it not be `socially acceptable` to some agrieved minority. Remember Mr. Eich. His crime was merely making a donation.
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