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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

BREAKING NEWS - School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... 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, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... 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