GorT figured that with all the swirl regarding PRISM, Mr. Snowden, and the other recent leaks about various aspects of the country’s intelligence collection programs, that I’d weigh in on a few things:
1. The initial reports of Snowden being a 29-year old non-college educated, guard-turned-IT staff was pulling down $200K in Hawaii working for Booz Allen Hamilton with the level of access required, including need-to-know, to the programs he divulged are complete poppycock.
2. While I’d admire the concept behind Mr. Snowden’s “whistleblowing”, I’m not sure it meets that criteria. There are some safeguards and procedures in place to deal with data collected when it involves a US person…and it entails more than Diane Feinstein reading some reports sent over to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
3. We need to be careful how we tread here: our adversaries are watching carefully to see what gets disclosed regarding our collection capabilities and practices – all without expending a dime towards doing any sort of intelligence gathering of their own. Yes, we need to protect our privacy and civil liberties but the nature of our adversaries has changed and evolved and we should keep that in mind.
4. Consider for a moment how much data Visa, MasterCard, Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. has on us just as consumers. And this is data that we really give up quite willingly. How many of you are actually sending encrypted and digitally signed emails to you friends and family? How many of you are scrubbing the EXIF tags out of your photos before you post them online? Do you think that Google or Facebook isn’t already looking at the “metadata” about your emails, searches, photos, etc. ? Wake up. We are a digital society now and this data is out there. The bigger concern is what our government is doing with said data. If the collection programs are targeting US Persons without the specific oversight controls being used then that is a problem – but if it scrapes over some US Persons data, determines that it isn’t relevant or significant for the particular mission against a suspected terrorist or other enemy, and then scrubs the data from storage, then that’s less of a concern. The rub is that we don’t know for sure which case it is and we (the public) shouldn’t really know, if it’s classified. We need to have some trust in our government and intelligence programs and the people that run them.
In the end, this is a real mixed bag for anyone to tackle. The more problematic one is for the democrats like Obama who railed against the Patriot Act and then have allowed an extreme bending but likely not criminal breaking of that same Act when in office.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.