Bye Bye, Privacy

Where do I even start?

The NYT disclosed that President Bush signed an order allowing the NSA to conduct wiretaps and eavesdrop on U.S. citizens. Now it wasn’t on entirely domestic communications, but communications which international in some aspect.

How hard would it be to get a court order allowing this? It wouldn’t take too much work to do, especially since they could use secret Foreign courts to get it. It’s just another example of this administration’s contempt for due process. Warrentless searches totally circumvent the idea of checks and balances.

I was listening to a program on the way home from work yesterday, and the host asked people what they thought about this development. He only spoke to a few people, but no one was up in arms. And that was scary. The overriding attitude was, “I have nothing to hide, so why not?” But that’s not the point – there are certain rules and laws that everyone must abide by, regardless of how “bad” someone may be.

In some welcome news, I am glad to see some members of the Senate finally wake up and start to question the Patriot Act. This all goes back to something I mentioned a while ago. We need to have working checks and balances in place. There needs to be a reason for obtaining a warrent to search someone, but the House version of extending the Patriot act.

What do you think? How has your opinion changed with the news disclosed this week?

Update (6:56 pm) – To drive the point home, a student at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents for requesting “The Little Red Book” by Mao Tse-Tung to read for a class.