Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why I am afraid

The Single Best Overview of What the Surveillance State Does With Our Private Data

Oct 9 2013, 6:00 AM ET

Even though the people being spied on are often totally innocent, the government stores their information for a very long time.

The U.S. surveillance debate is constantly distorted by the fact that national-security officials hide, obscure, and distort so much of what they do. Occasionally a journalist is able to expand the store of publicly available information, most recently thanks to Edward Snowden's indispensable NSA leaks. But even public information about government surveillance and data retention is difficult to convey to a mass audience. It involves multiple federal agencies with overlapping roles. The relevant laws and rules are complicated, jargon is ubiquitous, and surveillance advocates often don't play fair: They use words in ways that bear little relation to their generally accepted meaning, make technically accurate statements that are highly misleading, and even outright lie, as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper did before Congress.