Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report shamed American citizens for submitting to government, allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on and store data, anywhere, about them without security cause. On Jan. 19, 2014, Drudge tweeted, "Only in a fading nation would it become WHERE to store gov't spying on its citizens. Any free people would demand it STOPPED and DESTROYED!"
Previously, Drudge had dared to tweet outright that President Obama was too afraid of the NSA to stop them from spying on regular Americans. With these tweets, plus ongoing Drudge site headlines about NSA, Drudge appears to be rallying Americans for a privacy showdown.
During what is now a raging national surveillance debate since Edward Snowden released documents which incited fears that the NSA is compromising the privacy of Americans, Drudge may be the the first high profile political personality to dump the ultimate blame in the laps of America's citizenry.
Now, following the president's recent comments regarding reforming the NSA, speaking specifically of relocating the data, both liberals and conservatives immediately began to voice skepticism that shifting the storage of the data would work. Like Obama, many are trying to balance security needs with privacy needs.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wouldn't back down on what she considers a vital need to continue collecting the data, explaining, "The whole purpose of this program is to provide instantaneous information to be able to disrupt any plot that may be taking place," On NBC's "Meet the Press." Feinstein acknowledged doubts about whether Obama's plan was the solution.
Speaking as the Democrat Chair, Feinstein joined Republican Chairman Rogers of the Intelligence Committee on Sunday questioning whether the federal government's collection of data on domestic telephone calls should be transferred to private entities, pointing out private phone companies wouldn't be subject to oversight, adding that it wasn't a responsibility the companies even wanted.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer scoffed at any notion that moving data would end the outrage from those who think the NSA is basically trolling the data of average Americans with no valid justification. Paul said, "What I think I heard is that if you like your privacy, you can keep it,” adding, "But in the meantime, we’re going to keep collecting your phone records, your email, your text messages and, likely, your credit card information.”
Many consider Drudge fun to follow, fun to watch in action. Evoking that old saw, "Put this in your pipe and smoke it," Drudge first fires up his political news aggregate with his hottest selection of storyboard headlines and smokes them for awhile.
Later, like any good "dottle digger," Drudge taps the dodder in the pipe and keeps it going with a judicious blast of 140 characters on Twitter. Certainly, Drudge has been long recognized as a master at keeping political embers red hot.