We now have disclosure that under a secret program code-named PRISM, the NSA and FBI are tapping directly into nine Internet giants, including Google, Facebook, Apple andYouTube, along with AT&T, Sprint and God knows who else. Even before that news, the GOP Congressman who authored the Patriot Act blasted the previously revealed Verizon surveillance as an "excessive and un-American" abuse of what some of us already feel is....But for many, all these Orwellian revelations are in equal parts deeply troubling and, in the post-privacy world of the Patriot Act, wholly unsurprising. Former NSA employee and famed whistle-blower Thomas Drake feels the “déjà vu” revelations simply show "this sort of surveillance has become routine and institutionalized,” and the Rude Pundit, arguing "no president is ever going to give back the powers that were granted to George W. Bush in 2001," likewise says the "boat has sailed" on our lost privacy.
"What we are left with is merely electing people who we believe will be wise shepherds of this power to invade our privacy whenever they wish... That is a sad reduction of democracy. That is the opposite of hope, no? Merely wanting to be led by people who won't harm us?"