Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

August 2, 2013

LEFFLER: We are citizens -- not subjects

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The NSA scandal rolls on and government types on both sides of the proverbial aisle continue to support this atrocity that turns the people of the United States from citizens into subjects — or should I say pets?

On Wednesday, the National Security Agency acknowledged that when investigating one suspected terrorist, it can read and store the phone records of millions of Americans. That’s a huge upgrade from the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, that’s for sure.

According to a story by the Associated Press, it’s quite easy for Americans with no connection to terrorism to unwittingly have their calling patterns analyzed by the government because of what’s known as “hop” or “chain” analysis.

The story said, “When the NSA identifies a suspect, it can look not just at his phone records, but also the records of everyone he calls, everyone who calls those people and everyone who calls those people.”

In other words, if a “suspected terrorist” ordered a pizza and you ordered a pizza from the same place, you are automatically in league with said “terrorist.”

Yes, I’m puttiing “terrorist” in quotes because I’m not entirely sure how the government defines terrorism any more. It used to be pretty black and white but these days everything is a shade of gray. I have a feeling anyone who ever protested anything might be in some database of being potentially a terrorist. This would include me.

Of course, the government has to watch out for itself — and moreover the people it was sworn to protect. But it needs to also watch out for the Constitution that it was also sworn to protect. And I have serious reservations about the Constitutionality of many of the ongoing government surveillance programs.

The problem with ignoring the Constitution and just doing whatever-they-damn-well-please is that in doing so, they’re turning the people of this country into mere subjects. Instead of power flowing up from us (via the ballot booth), it trickles down from Washington to us … in scant doses.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.