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Opinion: Privacy – that’s a good one

By Mark Wadland

The notion of privacy was thrown out the window after Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant for the CIA, informed the public about the NSA tapping into everyone’s phones, computers, etc – effectively cutting into their lives without permission.

Regardless of how I or anyone else feels about Snowden’s actions, the heart of the issue lies with the NSA. Why do they feel the need to see everything we write, say or do every day? Is it to catch criminals? Personally, I doubt it.

I think, for the NSA and the rest of the U.S. government, it is about control.

Control, for them, is synonymous with power. They want to feel like they are in control, and, as we have all seen, will bypass the Constitution of the United States to do so. Will they bother to go through the legal system to invade the lives of innocent people? Of course not. And why is that?

Because achieving an objective through illegal means is faster. Speed is one vital aspect of control, so the faster the NSA taps into our communication devices, the faster they control us, and the more power and influence they have over our lives. Does this scare me?

Yes, it does. It shows a profound and horriffic lack of trust between the U.S. government and its own people – this mindset, I feel, is reminiscent of the Founding Fathers’ feelings toward the British Monarchy. Like us, the Founding Fathers could not trust its own ruling class because they viewed their subjects as the biggest threat to their power.

Regardless of what the news states regarding the reasons behind this unlawful invasion of the privacy of innocent, hardworking, law-abiding Americans, the true reasons they did it, I think, is out of fear.

The NSA would have no reason to tap into our communications were they not afraid of us. So, we have a government that does not trust its people and a population that does not, and cannot, trust its own leaders. Now, tell me – how is a country, the great “Land of Opportunity,” supposed to function properly unless everyone is working together peacefully?

It cannot function correctly unless all of the parts of the “machine” – that is, the government and its people – are united.

This is a problem that affects nearly everyone in the United States. The NSA, by watching everyone like a hawk, has bumped our freedom down by one notch. I’d like to congratulate the NSA on taking the fabric of American society and just tearing it a little bit more. This country, it appears, is coming apart at the seams, yet no one seems to care, except when it comes to dragging Snowden back to the U.S. in chains.

Maybe he never should have released those classified documents because, after all, isn’t ignorance supposed to be bliss? Ignorance is like a drug, in that it blurs our vision, makes us weaker and clouds our minds. It makes us inept and blinds us to what is actually going on behind the scenes, so to speak. And freeing us from the effects of this “drug,” as I believe was Snowden’s intention, is both frightening and dangerous, but I would argue it is also necessary. This is because ignorance is seeing reality through the eyes of a blind person. That is like hiding behind a curtain when it is time for you to perform on stage – you cannot face what is actually out there, right in front of you.

Also, this whole fiasco tells me that the NSA has no respect for the First Amendment, which gives people the freedom to say to their bosses, “You are an imbecile” and for that boss to reply, “Thank you for your service, and enjoy working at Market Basket for the next three decades. Have a nice day, sir.”

By watching Americans like a hawk, the U.S. government is only striking anger and panic into our hearts, and ensuring that this country is one step closer to going from the “Land of Opportunity” to the “Land of Submission,” where everyone bows to their demands and no aspect of our lives is safe – perhaps even our thoughts.

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