Friday, July 30, 2010

Power Corrupts

This is how power corrupts:
It is just a technical matter, the Obama administration says: We just need to make a slight change in a law to make clear that we have the right to see the names of anyone’s e-mail correspondents and their Web browsing history without the messy complication of asking a judge for permission.

It is far more than a technical change. The administration’s request is an unnecessary and disappointing step backward toward more intrusive surveillance from a president who promised something very different during the 2008 campaign.
From the outside, people resent being spied on. But once they are on the inside, they feel the burden of responsibility for keeping the country safe. They resent the time wasted applying for warrants. They want to follow up on every lead immediately. After all, they are good people who won't misuse their power; surely they can be trusted. This is inevitable; every administration, not matter how much they love civil liberties before they come into office, falls eventually into this trap. It is up to us the people to say no; it is up to us to pressure the President and our representatives to put a stop to the ever-increasing oozing spread of the security state and its tentacles of intrusive slime. We cannot count on any President to do this for us. I have already emailed the President and made my position clear, and I urge all of you to do the same.

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