The following is the except of an article by Brian Doherty,
a senior editor at Reason magazine and author of This is
Burning Man, Radicals for Capitalism, and Gun Control on
Trial, and its Chinese translation:
Civil libertarians hoped that the Obama era would see a
renewed commitment to privacy protections. But their dreams
are being dashed.
Candidate Obama swore that under his reign, Americans would
see “no more National Security Letters to spy on citizens
who are not suspected of a crime.” But his administration
has shown no desire to relieve itself of NSL powers. National
Security Letters allow FBI agents to grab records and information
about you from third parties without any judicial supervision.
The recipients are legally prohibited from telling anyone
other than their lawyers that they gave up the information.
The Patriot reauthorization debate unfolded as the telecommunications
industry, already known for craven capitulation to the National
Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, was revealed
by researcher Chris Soghoian to be continuing to cooperate
with law enforcement against customers’ interests at a level
that, in the words of a request from Yahoo! to keep its collaboration
quiet, would “shock” customers and “shame” telcos.
Sprint Nextel, for example, provided the government with
GPS locations of its subscribers via their cell-phone signals
8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009.
As Soghoian writes, telecom and Internet providers “all have
special departments, many open 24 hours per day, whose staff
do nothing but respond to legal requests. Their entire purpose
is to facilitate the disclosure of their customers’ records
to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.”
These two stories—Patriot reauthorization and telco cooperation—frame
the battlefield on which American privacy is being slaughtered.
On one end is a government that wants to suck up as much
information as it can with as little oversight as possible.
On the other end are private companies—to which we entrust
more and more information about what we are saying, writing,
buying, and thinking—that in effect act as government information
Full text can be viewed from following link: mindcontrol.twoday.net/stories/6138777/
Farmer and A Snake