Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/30/2013 (9 months 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 (9 months 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... 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, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... 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