Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cenk Uygur On Domestic Surveillance

In plain language and a loud voice, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks explains what's wrong with letting the NSA collect whatever it wants without any meaningful checks:

The video is reduced in size here to fit into this blog's page format. Go to the YouTube page for more viewing options.

What he says about the relative ease of finding information after the fact versus predicting and preventing acts of terrorism is absolutely true. I had a similar job once upon a time - figuring out how network performance can be improved by recording all the data sent over it and categorizing it in various ways. Specific questions about things that were wrong were usually easy to answer. Predicting bottlenecks, slowdowns, or malfunctions was nearly impossible.

There is no need, and no justification, for the sort of surveillance that we are currently being subjected to. As for the concern about us eavesdropping on the rest of the world, I think that as long as only the US has that information, it shouldn't be a big problem for those peoples' freedoms. We do share that information, though, and there should be serious restrictions placed on how and when that is done, as well.

Afterword: While we're embedding videos, here's The Daily Show, on substitute anchor John Oliver's inaugural show, making some excellent points on the surveillance issue:

Yes, it's basically a coin toss whether the NSA will consider your information to be of foreign origin or not. Officially, at least - who knows what they're actually doing?

(h/t Taylor Marsh)

UPDATE: When you're done watching, go read Tom's Dispatch.

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