Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/30/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The abuse of such power has already begun.

"The Matrix has you," or thus spoke Morpheus to Neo in the blockbuster movie "The Matrix." A decade ago, that movie was science fiction. Today, it is chilling reality.

As more becomes known, it's probably safe to assume they collect everything.

As more becomes known, it's probably safe to assume they collect everything.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/30/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: NSA, emails, search, freedom, facebook, spying, everything, DEA, IRS, abuse, Machiavellian


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a creepy cross between Hollywood's "The Matrix" and George Orwell's 1984, we now know the NSA is collecting data on Americans from social networks, GPS tracking, and call logs. The agency is free to collect that data without any regard for "foreignness" either.

The latest data dump from the Snowden leak reveals that the NSA is using social networking, GPS, and phone metadata to track individual movements and associations. According to the New York Times, the NSA can tell where you are, who you're with, and often, what you're doing.

Having an extramarital affair? The NSA can determine that with a reasonable degree of accuracy and without bothering to search the specific text or content of your communication.

Are you traveling overseas? The NSA can now calculate where you are and whom you are with.

All of this allows the NSA to locate, follow, and ultimately enable the authorities to apprehend or disrupt terrorist plots.

However, it also treads on questionable constitutional grounds. A memorandum dated January 2011 says that the agency was now authorized to perform "large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness." Those permissions extended to email addresses, phone numbers, and any other kind of identifier.

This means that despite protestations of the Obama administration to the contrary, the administration lied to us about contacts needing to be foreign or needing at least some taint of foreign connection to be valid for collection. The information can be seized at any time, on any person, for any reason or none at all. Currently, your information is being aggregated and can be freely searched without a warrant.

The New York Times also mentioned that  "The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such 'enrichment' data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners."

Nor is the NSA the only agency collecting and using data on individuals. Last month it was learned that the NSA was cooperating with the DEA and forwarding information on suspected drug traffickers to the IRS for use in their cases and the IRS was caught falsifying reports to cover up NSA assistance.

Nobody has any love for drug traffickers, and certainly not terrorists, however it brings to mind the question of who else besides the DEA and IRS is being assisted by the NSA and for what crimes? More importantly, when does all this go too far? While we can abide (for the most part) a program that is used exclusively to hunt terrorists and criminals, what is to prevent its use to hunt you?

The IRS tips, although used to pursue bad people, also represent the slaughter of a sacred cow. The agency has crossed the line. Our elected officials have already been caught lying to us.

A Machiavellian "the ends justify the means" approach to law enforcement can quickly devolve into a police state where virtually anybody can become a suspect. Imagine a not-too distant future where those who oppose Obamacare or the HHS abortion edict suddenly become enemies of the system?

Sound far fetched? Keep in mind that the IRS was recently used to target conservative groups, based on "signals" sent by the Obama administration. Another sacred cow sacrificed, and not at all in the name of law and order.

Also, bear in mind that books like 1984 and movies like "The Matrix" were within the realm of science fiction just a decade ago.

Today, they are for all intents and purposes, reality. The greater stretch of the imagination then, is to think that perhaps these tools won't be abused in the decade to come.

Fair warning.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

Is your teenager in danger? 1 in 5 teen girls experience dating abuse in the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems like teenagers nowadays have forgotten what "respect your partner" means. Oftentimes, teenage couples leave one battered and the other selfish. Some even find fulfillment in impeding the rights of other people, and American teenagers have fallen into the hands ... continue reading


The top 5 things you need to know about the United States' quickly changing religious landscape Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For many years, Protestants made up the majority of the United States' population. A recent report from America Values Atlas tells us that, as the United States demographically shifts, this is no longer the case. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States as ... continue reading


EMPTY! Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Government's denial of audit raises serious concerns Watch

Image of While the U.S. government claims that about 3% of all minted gold sits in Fort Knox, recent and troubling rumors say that this is not true.

By Al Wooltin (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 3 percent of the gold ever refined in the entire history of mankind sits in the vaults of the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, equaling about 5,000 metric tons of gold. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least this is what the government of ... continue reading


Billy the Kid's New Mexico hideout now up for sale Watch

Image of According to legend, Billy the Kid is said to have killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed eight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a beautiful home in New Mexico, spacious, with breathtaking mountain views. It's hard to believe that it at one time sheltered Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, one of the American Wild West's most notorious outlaws. It is now on the market for ... continue reading


Obama spends an alarming $3 billion on Obamacare WITHOUT Congressional approval Watch

Image of President Obama's administration is being accused of illegally spending money on Obamacare without Congressional approval.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department may be moving forward with Obamacare regardless of Congressional concerns and a lack of funding, approving a $3 billion payment to health insurers despite the fact that Congress has not authorized any payments in annual ... continue reading


Obama Administration as Global Advocate for Radical LGBTI Agenda

Image of Randy Berry

By Keith A Fournier

Robert Reilly is right. The Obama administration is doing profound damage to the very understanding of human rights. We have fundamental human rights precisely because we are human persons. No-one should support the denial of truly fundamental human rights for ... continue reading


Climate change - WHERE IT HURTS: Scientists say warming will hit nation's agricultural heartland Watch

Image of The climate change panel's verdict came as a bit of a surprise: Greenhouse-gas emissions played a substantial role in Europe's misery, but not so much in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are very few positive things to result from climate change. Researchers now say that warmer temperatures will hit America where it counts: the nation's agricultural heartland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers presented their latest findings ... continue reading


WITCHES ARE BACK: Witchcraft reappears in today's popular mainstream culture in unexpected ways Watch

Image of Witches are seen in both religion and as a feminist symbol.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The idea of the witch is making its rounds through history again. Females, both young and old, are embracing the power that comes with the feminist witch in today's society. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a recent twitter post, popular female rapper, Azealia ... continue reading


Alaska lights up as it become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana Watch

Image of Twenty-three states still prohibit cannabis outright. The other U.S. states have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The state of Alaska is lighting up in celebration... following Colorado's lead, Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Voters passed the Alaska Marijuana Legalization ballot measure last ... continue reading


The Air Force pulls a B-52 from the 'Boneyard,' and you won't believe what they did with it next Watch

Image of A B-52, one of the largest and most effective bombers in the world.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in aircraft's history, the U.S. Air Force has brought a B-52 bomber back to life from the Boneyard of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Ghost Rider," this 53-year-old bomber had ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter