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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
Who Watches the Watchers?
The National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, known as the “President’s Surveillance Program,” was implemented by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The government still considers the program officially classified, but a tremendous amount of information has recently been exposed by various whistleblowers, has been debated during Congressional hearings and is being reported in our local news media including Indybay.
But I believe several questions remain unanswered. Is the NSA’s ongoing data-mining part of something much larger and more insidious? Are we as a society unconsciously adjusting to life in a surveillance state? Are we consciously striking a Devil's Bargain for less liberty in the name of more security? And perhaps the most Orwellian question of all: Who watches the watchers? Although we all have vague feelings of uneasiness about domestic surveillance, it rarely translates into serious thinking about where we draw the line. Maybe now would be a good time to start before the police/surveillance state we have historically feared becomes the future reality.