There should be an Edward Snowden Appreciation Day across the country.
Without Snowden’s courageous actions, our government’s out-of-control surveillance of citizens would metastasize until it subjugated our lives and turning our democracy and Constitution inside-out.
Our president spoke of “reforms” to the spy programs; however he suggested nothing to protect our Fourth Amendment rights. The government can still spy on us without probable cause.
The unconstitutional Patriot Act, which fathered these practices, can be fixed with one sentence added, stating that the Patriot Act doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens.
Asking the Justice Department and spy agencies to implement new regulations to protect our rights is like asking a cat to protect a mouse.
The government will still have the power to collect metadata from all communications, open those files and use our private information against us. So, how have our rights been protected?
Having our records collected by an assigned third party still gives the government access to our communications without showing probable cause. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court does what the government wants it to do.
President Barack Obama’s citizens’ advocate suggestion comes down to the government deciding when and if that advocate should represent our interests. This is akin to asking the schoolyard bully to assign someone to defend his own targets.
Our only hope is that the courts will find these programs in violation of our Fourth Amendment rights. I’m not asking that the programs be ended, only that they not violate our constitutional rights.
Louis Mollica, Hollidaysburg