Like many of you, I suspect, I have been closely following the story of government surveillance that has rocked the country, indeed, the world. I am appalled at the revelations, but not surprised. I was just about to leave government service, and give up my top secret clearances, when the Church Committee looked at Project Shamrock (do a Google), and Seymour Hersh, an acquaintance, wrote his groundbreaking piece in theNew York Times. Since those days despite shock after shock about the encroachments of government surveillance, and despite claims that these whistle blower revelations compromise national security, all that has really happened is that the surveillance industry has grown and expanded from government agencies to include private contractors. There are now hundreds of thousands of people involved in the security apparat. There is no precedent in history for this depth of penetration into the life of the individual.
Throughout those years from the ’70s, and Shamrock until today, it is clear that civil liberties concerning privacy have virtually disappeared. Anyone who doesn’t keep in mind that everything they write or say that is digital is susceptible to being recorded by some agency or contractor is not living in the real world.