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Trust in government: Rules for spying on citizens

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NSA has new rules for spying and collecting metadata, etc. Leaker, Edward Snowden, forced the Obama administration into the open about its practices of spying on citizens here and around the world. News commentators reminded everyone that it was Obama’s pledge to clean up practices initiated by George W. Bush that he believed were a violation of privacy and freedom. Than, once in office, he embraced the same practices and bolstered them.

Republican libertarians like Rand Paul are inspired to address the topic that was stimulated further today by the President describing the NSA overhaul in a 45 minute address. His speech also brought out Julian Assange who commented that Edward Snowden himself would have a response next week.

Here is some logic and reasoning to ponder.

  1. American security is threatened by both nation states and terrorist groups around the world.
  2. Employing advanced information and communication technology to surveil, track, interpret, and interdict terrorist and other harmful acts are tools of defense and warfare.
  3. Individuals and terrorist groups operate inside and outside of the US boundaries.
  4. Some terrorists are American citizens and some are guests living in the country.
  5. Profiling and tracking terrorists requires the ability to cast broad and narrow nets to ensnare them.
  6. Rules governing how this is accomplished must ensure protection of individual’s privacy and freedom.
  7. Addressing the needs for national security requires trust in government.
  8. Government has a spotty record for having deserved that trust.

Only when citizens are actively involved in government to an optimum level can Americans be assured that they can trust government and its leaders.

“Obama calls for NSA overhaul

By Justin Sink - 01/17/14 01:24 PM EST

President Obama announced on Friday that he would place new restrictions on controversial surveillance programs that have sparked controversy around the world since they were revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaks.

The president said he would now require intelligence agencies to obtain judicial approval before reviewing databases of information about telephone calls.

He also said the government would end its collection and holding of phone records — but not until after the Justice Department and intelligence community, working with Congress, figure out a means for moving forward.
It’s unclear who would hold on to data collected by telecom companies.

[text omitted]

“I believe critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives, and open the door to more intrusive, bulk collection programs in the future,” Obama told lawmakers and intelligence officials assembled for his highly-anticipated speech at the Justice Department.

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