"Collect It All"... They Really Mean It
A few months ago, I argued that
The National Surveillance State doesn't want anyone to be able to communicate without the authorities being able to monitor that communication. Think that's too strong a statement? If so, you're not paying attention. There's a reason the government names its programs Total Information Awareness and Boundless Informant and acknowledges it wants to "collect it all" and build its own "haystack" and has redefined the word "relevant" to mean "everything." The desire to spy on everything totally and boundlessly isn't even new; what's changed is just that it's become more feasible of late. You can argue that the NSA's nomenclature isn't (at least not yet) properly descriptive; you can't argue that it isn't at least aspirational.
What’s interesting, too, is that the National Surveillance State doesn’t even recognize there could be anything fundamentally wrong or objectionable about any of this. Here’s their latest logo:
If we ever do come to live in a world where the government will be able to monitor every meaningful thing we do, we won't be able to say we weren't warned.
If we value freedom and democracy, we citizens need to engage in a national — an international — conversation about whether we want any government to be able to monitor all the communications, Internet behavior, and physical movement of everyone in the world. If you're glad that conversation has begun, thank Edward Snowden.