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View Diary: Your Call May Be Monitored For Quality Control Purposes (38 comments)

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  •  Here's the thing: Snowden hasn't as yet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    leaked serious proof of the scenario you posit.  

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:08:14 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  With the current lack of (or lax) oversight... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, deep info, kurt

      What’s missing, however, is a reliable way of keeping track of who sees what, and who watches whom.

      The government has invoked special privilege to stop scrutiny of data mining so it's not going to be easy for civil liberties advocates to determine exactly how widespread the programs are, how much data is being gathered, or what safeguards there are on the misuse of the data.  Also when the govt. continually invokes "special privilege" it is difficult, to impossible, for private citizens to: a. prove they have been surveilled minus warrant or b. that it has caused harm.   (emphasis mine)

      Although we have laws that protect us against government surveillance, secret government programs cannot be challenged until they are discovered.  And even when they are, our law of surveillance can provide only minimal protections. Courts frequently dismiss challenges to such programs for lack of standing..The Supreme Court recently on the only major case to hold the contrary–Clapper v.Amnesty International Program. 3 If the Court reverses this outlier case, we face the prospect of vast government surveillance that is unreviewable and unaccountable...

      ...The second special harm that surveillance poses is that it affects the power dynamic between the watcher and the watched. This creates the risk of a variety of harms, such discrimination, coercion, or the threat of selective enforcement, where critics of the government can be prosecuted or blackmailed for wrongdoing unrelated to the purpose of the surveillance...

      We all know that The Bush WH used classified information

      "...in "a concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House""discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq..."

      and...Former CIA Admits They Sought Information to Discredit Juan Cole for Bashing Bush

      Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.

      Mr. Carle said his supervisor... told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted “to get” Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him,

      Snooping Past and Present
      For us aging Vietnam War protesters, the secret domestic surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden, a young former CIA contractor, is like a bad flashback...

      (in) 1974...Seymour Hersh, reporting for The New York Times, revealed that the CIA had been conducting a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation against the anti-war movement and other dissident groups.

      The agency was keeping about 10,000 American citizens under surveillance, using such crude tools as intercepting mail, burglary and wiretaps that had to be placed by hand on home phones and in phone booths.

      They were bugging hotel rooms for evidence of infidelity...These weapons were used against suspected Communists but also against domestic protesters...

      ...Not long before, the existence of President Richard Nixon's enemies list came to light in The Washington Post...

      The list included everybody from entertainers to the National Education Association, and the IRS was used as a tool against some of them....

      The CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies have had to have the reigns pulled back on them before WRT domestic surveillance:  
      ...As Sen. Frank Church noted In 1975, Idaho Sen. Frank Church began an investigation into the National Security Administration, and he didn't like what he saw. The agency was supposed to track foreign threats, but he feared what would happen if it ever turned its enormous listening powers on the American people.

      "[Bugging technology] at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "I know the capacity is there to make tyranny total in America."

      Unless there is better oversight by Congress (ensuring that Constitutional protections are not sacrificed in the name of security) of  the top secret world growing out of control there can be no guarantees that the NSA/ CIA/ etc won't be used again at some point against, not terrorists, but against dissenting citizens.  

      We need to be a nation of laws, not men, because...

      ...The American people have no idea who the president will be in 2017. Nor do we know who'll sit on key Senate oversight committees, who will head the various national-security agencies, or whether the moral character of the people doing so, individually or in aggregate, will more closely resemble George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, John Yoo, or Vladimir Putin...

      Obviously because something can happen does not mean that it will happen.  But isn't it better in a democracy to be proactive and petition our Congress to ensure that it won't happen?  

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