“Obama Administration to Involve NSA in Monitoring Government Networks” the Washington Post breaking news alert trumpeted this afternoon.
There are a lot of overly cautious people in the USA who tremble in fear at the most harmless of news stories. A good example is the Google hot trend story this week about a bill buried in Congressional committee that would repeal the 22nd amendment. The bill repealing the 22nd amendment, if passed, signed into law, and ratified by 2/3 of the state legislatures in the United States, would allow presidents to serve unlimited numbers of terms.
It takes a certain level of paranoia to panic over the bill proposing repeal of the 22nd amendment. Only a slight amount of research is necessary to uncover facts that diminish the contention that this bill is linked to a King Obama conspiracy. Notably, Obama opposes the bill. Moreover, the bill has been introduced by the same representative every year for the past decade.
Another good example of overreaction is citizens who fear that instituting a national health care plan is tantamount to declaring the nation socialist.
So what kind of news brief should scare the pants off the average citizen? The aforementioned Washington Post breaking news alert on the NSA’s cybersnooping role expansion would certainly qualify:
Obama Administration to Use NSA to Monitor Computer Traffic
The Washington Post reported breaking news this afternoon that the Obama administration will adopt a Bush administration initiative that calls for the National Security Agency to monitor civilian government computer traffic on private networks. The NSA is not slated to review private communications transmitted by computer but how they might be protected from NSA view is as yet undetermined. The Department of Homeland Security is planning a pilot program using the AT & T network to test the NSA monitoring program. The program, called Einstein 3,would route government agency internet traffic through a box that would search for and block codes suspected to be detrimental.
The NSA is a government instrumentality engaged in clandestine operations which nominally relate to national security. In practice, the NSA has been criticized for waging economic warfare on developing nations for decades and for engaging in warrantless wiretapping during the Bush administration.
The Washington Post described the NSA internet communications monitoring program as “the most controversial element of the $17 billion cybersecurity initiative that the Bush administration launched in January 2008.”
People who believe the government is a threat to the people should be far more concerned about initiatives like this one giving the NSA unprecedented cybersnooping authority than about some perennial bill stalled in Congress or an overnight transformation of the country into a socialist cesspool by dint of providing health care to all citizens.
Sources: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202771.html?hpid=topnews; http://www.nsa.gov/about/mission/index.shtml; Perkins, John, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004;