NSA Firewall

23:55 Fri 21 Sep 2007. Updated: 00:56 22 Sep 2007
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Apparently the NSA is going to assume the role of monitoring the communications infrastructure of the US… no, technically they’re not supposed to be doing that already, and this new move is aimed at “protection” rather than “surveillance”—but it’s hardly a welcome step.

We obviously already have huge problems with government intrusion into the online and electronic realms, with the courts and legislatures swallowing far too much of the executive’s claims that “security” trumps everything else and that since we didn’t have mass communications when the Constitution was written, the document obviously couldn’t have been meant to safeguard privacy in that realm.

Depressingly, this story seems like one where commentary is almost superfluous. Just another step along the road to outright authoritarianism, nothing to see here. Anyway, this is a smaller step than many already taken, like the abolition of habeas corpus and (effectively) the Posse Comitatus Act. Not to mention the continuing disgraceful abdication of responsibility for the declaration of war on the part of Congress.

I wanted to write something more uplifting going into this weekend, but it just didn’t happen. The political situation is bleak, and for me is overshadowed by the apparently (I’m still somewhat in a state of denial about this) imminent attack on Iran.

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