Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I've been doing a lot of soul searching about this and have mixed emotions about the NSA monitoring everyone's phone calls and emails.

On the face, we do have to protect ourselves and in the process give up some of our freedom or have it imposed upon - like having to show id to write a check (for those of up old enough to remember writing checks) or taking your shoes off and subject yourself to a possible search when boarding a plane.  But just how much freedom do we have to give up?

I don't mind having my metadata looked at (ip address, phone numbers I call or call me, etc.) but have qualms about someone listening in on an intimate phone conversation.  Where do we draw the line.

My problem is not with the law as there are some in place to protect our privacy, it is with the oversight to insure laws are not broken.  As seen with Edward Snowden, the recent leaker of NSA programs, and others one person can take it upon themselves to violate them.  Or an administration(s) that have ulterior motive(s).  We have seen it in just about every administration from the use of the IRS to the bugging offices to undermine ones opponents or those suspected of having adverse positions.  I experienced that myself.

As a young Republican and a stanch supporter of Nixon, I became disillusioned after Watergate and after seeing many intolerant policies.  I opted out of the party to become an independent.  Within weeks, my high security clearance to become an FBI agent was revoked. I was followed for many weeks and although there is no proof, I heard many unexplained "clicks" on numerous phone calls.  My short form tax return was audited two years in a row.  You read it right, MY SHORT FORM!  My name even, as I am told, ended up on the infamous "hit list".  Now at the time I really didn't care as I had nothing to hide but it just ticked me off to no end.  It was a little scary though.  There is an old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely.

In my mind, I was a nobody just starting out a career in radio and small potatoes. I mean, come on, what damage could I do?  In many ways, I feel complimented to have been on someone's radar that they were worried enough to think I had the power or means to be a factor in anything...lol.

Now we are faced with the same dilemma. I don't mind anyone keeping tabs on me or our movements (via your cell phone, Facebook, 4 square, etc.) but I am concerned about who or what uses it and for what purpose.  And to expect the government to monitor and control the programs is like the fox watching the henhouse isn't it?

Just a few thoughts.

Take care,


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