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Quite possibly.  However, we can still shine a little light on how our data are gathered and used. While the latest revelations suggest NSA's methods are deeper and more nefarious than even the most paranoid might have suspected, the fact remains that the biggest data-hoarding operations are those in the private sector--google, facebook, the telecoms, etc. They are doing the hard work for the spy agencies. As much as they whine about having their arms twisted, they are the enablers. It is silly to think that any laws restricting NSA's powers would hold up if a future administration were to declare an emergency.  

One of the newer ways of combating cancer is with drugs that kill the blood vessels which supply tumors with nutrients.  The best way to starve the cancer of NSA and similar agencies it to starve them of data.  Nothing would go further in that direction than making it harder for google et al. to hoard our data in the first place.  In the petition below, we are asking for something very simple: that these companies have to ask our permission to collect or use our data.  It is a request against which there is no plausible argument.  Services which are of true value, whose benefits are worth coughing up your data to get, will thrive. Others, maybe not so much.

Several years ago, Rep. Jackie Speier, CA, sponsored legislation to this effect which got serious consideration before being beaten back by industry lobbyists.  We want to encourage her to try again.

Note--even sites like DailyKos and MoveOn are part of the data-snatching game. We can't avoid it. But we can use the tools they provide to change the rules of the game.

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