With the arctic temperatures we have been feeling lately, I can't help but wonder - how is freedom's best friend doing, Edward Snowden? The 2013 Sam Adams Award Winner, army veteran, card carrying republican and self-proclaimed "American" is entrapped in asylum within "mother" Russia and probably feeling the frigid temperatures about now. I can't help but think, what would I have done if I was in his shoes.
Snowden is currently a fugitive for releasing documentation that verified the National Security Agency spied illegally on millions of people, including foreign countries violating both our constitutional rights and the Vienna Convention. His claims that the United States Department of Justice is unwilling to prosecute NSA officials for illegal surveillance have fallen on deaf ears state side. As a result of Snowden's leaks, we have learned about PRISM and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act came about by President Bush's passing of the Protect America Act in 2007. From FISA, PRISM was born. PRISM is a surveillance program that allows the NSA to spy on you through computer software and hardware. The NSA can see your Google searches, Skype conversations, Microsoft documents, Facebook pages, etc all through PRISM. The NSA was also caught monitoring the cell phones and documentation of international leaders using FISA and PRISM - including Germany's Chancellor.
I can understand that the FISA and PRISM are designed to protect our country from terrorist attacks, but at what expense? Our freedoms and personal privacy? At what point do we become minions of the all and mighty powerful - US Federal Government? These questions are difficult to answer and our constitution was written to set the framework to answer these questions.
So what would I have done - frankly, the only thing I would have done differently than what Edward Snowden did is to include more people on the distribution list of the evidence showing the illegal activities of the NSA. The more people that are aware of what is trying to be hidden, the less likely it will be to continue. The more the NSA breaks the laws and violates our constitutional rights, the more the citizens of our country will spy on them and shed light on their misbehavior. Our federal system was established to include "checks and balances" and if these are not internally withheld, Americans must take action.
What would you have done had you known what Edward Snowden did in early 2013?
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