expands on something I wrote in 2003, entitled How
I See It.
revelations, that certain agencies and/or corporations are
recording and saving every email and phone communication
citizens make, indicate that the US is deeply engaged in
corrupting the morals and sensibilities of American citizens
and perhaps a significant part of the entire human population.
itís imperative that we ask ourselves how it affects a
personís mental health and psyche to know that every electronic
communication he or she engages in is being recorded, saved,
and possibly read, listened to and perhaps even shared with
unknown others, now or in the future, and for who knows what
communicate with every person in the same way even if I am
conversing with them on the same topic. In fact, it would be
inappropriate for me to talk about some things the same way to
different people. With
some people it is appropriate to share oneís most intimate
thoughts and feelings, whereas it might be totally
inappropriate to do so with others.
I also believe it is totally inappropriate for you or
anyone else to secretly eavesdrop on any communication I might
have with anyone I choose.
And certainly, eavesdropping on other peopleís
conversations wonít necessarily provide the eavesdropper
with an appropriate contextual framework to truly understand what is being said, meant, or construed.
government is corrupting the morals of any agent they are
paying to eavesdrop and record my or your communications.
The government canít be trusted to use this
There is no such thing as "appropriately" in this context.
Furthermore, the knowledge that a government would
institute and then defend such a practice corrupts the morals
of everyone who understands what is being done, and who at the
same time accepts it as a legitimate way for a government to
conduct its business. In
point of fact, it identifies the American government as an illegitimate,
immoral, and unenlightened institution, and, if allowed to
continue, the American
people as a docile and subservient lot, disrespected,
mistreated, and unloved by those who were entrusted with their
insisting that software, communication, and other companies allow the government
door access to information I might have in my computer or
corrupts the morals of those working for such companies.
It forces their employees, knowingly or unknowingly, to pretend, lie,
and deceive their customers about what it does or doesnít do.
It undermines the Constitution and corrupts the entire
enterprise we call America.
It creates mistrust, divides people, adds to fear,
crushes hope, promotes sadness, and makes a mockery of oneís
citizens, knowing that their communications might be monitored
and one day used for illegitimate purposes are likely to
alter, consciously or unconsciously, the way they communicate
with one another. Instead
of encouraging people to be honest and open with one another,
it almost forces them to do just the opposite.
Instead of society becoming more open and honest, it
will tend to make society a more closed off, fearful, and
we only feel comfortable being open and honest with
people we meet face to face, the quality, depth, and breadth
of our relationships will diminish and become less rewarding.
And soon even our face to face meetings will be less
honest. This new
reality is not for the advancement of the human condition; it
is a giant and tragic step backwards for every person on the
doesnít matter if you or I have anything to hide or not,
although I would venture to say that we all have a right to
hide some of our thoughts and feelings from whomever we choose,
especially when we have no idea who might become
privy to them in a deceitful manner, or how they might use
that information, even after we have taken honorable pains to share
our special thoughts and feelings privately and exclusively with very special
people in our lives.
the potential and probability that such a system will be
abused is almost surely as close to 100% as one can get,
particularly when you consider what the state of consciousness
must be of those who would think up such a program in the
first place and put it into effect in a manner that
disrespects the Constitution, the People, every government
employee, and a great many businesses.
educated, thinking people will not want to do this kind of
work and so over time those who do end up in these jobs will
be the most likely to abuse their position of trust,
particularly when they find out that there is no effective way
to report or correct whatever abuse they see going on around
them. And the government will not want to hire people of
high moral character (like the Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden(s) of the
world) because you never know what such people might do when
asked to perform disreputable tasks.
To give up
oneís freedom and right to develop inspiring, honest, loving
personal and working relationships, which is in some sense
what life is all about, in order that the government might one
day be able to intercept some remote terrorist plot is an idea
so lacking in both truth and wisdom that I admit to having no adequate words
to describe it. It is
much more likely to inspire terrorism than to discourage it.
Maybe that's what our burgeoning security industry is really trying
to do. This
is not what democratic governments do, nor what a sovereign
people would ever accept.
saying that governments should refrain from monitoring
potential enemies. But
whatever methods a legitimate government develops to protect
its citizenry, their strategies need to be honestly and legitimately
structured so that those providing oversight are qualified,
fully informed, people of unquestioned integrity who have the
strength of character to insure that the rights and freedoms
of ordinary citizens are protected to the highest degree
sources indicate that proper oversight to the program now in operation is not
in any sense available, nor do we currently have in place what any well informed person of integrity might
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