Peggy Noonan’s latest article considers how New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was wrong for slamming Republicans who question the massive snooping capabilities of the NSA. Christie’s argument didn’t rest on logic, only emotion. As if those of us concerned about privacy rights somehow don’t feel for the victims of 9/11. Noonan pointed out just how advanced the government’s snooping capabilities have become, and it’s chilling.
These are right and appropriate concerns, very American ones.
Consider just two stories from the past few days. The Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Danny Yadron had a stunning piece Friday that touches on the technological aspect of what our government can now do. The FBI is able to remotely activate microphone on phones running Android software. They can now record conversations in this way. They can do the same with microphones in laptops. They can get to you in a lot of ways! Does this make you nervous? If not, why not?
Reuters has a piece just today reporting that data gathered by the National Security Agency has been shared with the Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency that is supposed to be in charge of counterterrorism is sharing data with an agency working in the area of domestic criminal investigations.
Luckily Lois Lerner is on leave, so the IRS isn’t involved yet.
The concerns of normal Americans about the new world we’re entering—the world where Big Brother seems inexorably to be coming to life and we are all, at least potentially Winston Smith—is not only legitimate, it is wise and historically grounded. (Read More)
I guess if you want to have a private conversation you now need to completely shut down your Android phone, or your laptop if it has a microphone. But I guess Chris Christie is fine with that.