This is one of the few areas where Obama and Bush are following the same extremist policies, much like how Obama is also using our military might to assassinate Americans abroad without trial.
Look, Obama has accomplished some great things. But his attacks on American privacy threaten to make Nixon look like the ACLU.
The Times illustrates his next step pretty clearly
. They are petitioning Congress to put forward a bill that would require that all communications technologies include government backdoors to allow government snooping
Until Bush took office, the legal philosophy behind surveillance was that it was only legal to surveill and to search people who were suspected (with evidence) of committing crimes. This is why cops needs warrants before they toss every inch of your house. It's why they need(ed) warrants before listening to your phone calls. The PATRIOT ACT changed all this. For the worse.
The Obama administration's war on privacy - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
In early August, two dictatorial (and U.S.-allied) Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- announced a ban on the use of Blackberries because, as the BBC put it, "[b]oth nations are unhappy that they are unable to monitor such communications via the handsets." Those two governments demand the power to intercept and monitor every single form of communication. No human interaction may take place beyond their prying ears. Since Blackberry communication data are sent directly to servers in Canada and the company which operates Blackberry -- Research in Motion -- refused to turn the data over to those governments, "authorities  decided to ban Blackberry services rather than continue to allow an uncontrolled and unmonitored flow of electronic information within their borders." That's the core mindset of the Omnipotent Surveillance State: above all else, what is strictly prohibited is the ability of citizens to communicate in private; we can't have any "uncontrolled and unmonitored flow of electronic information."
That controversy generated substantial coverage in the U.S. media, which depicted it as reflective of the censorship and all-consuming surveillance powers of those undemocratic states. But the following week, The New York Times published an Op-Ed by Richard Falkenrath -- a top-level Homeland Security official in the Bush administration and current principal in the private firm of former Bush DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff -- expressing support for the UAE's Blackberry ban. Falkenrath asserted that "[a]mong law enforcement investigators and intelligence officers [in the U.S.], the Emirates’ decision met with approval, admiration and perhaps even a touch of envy." New Internet technologies -- including voice-over-Internet calls (such as Skype) and text messaging -- are increasingly difficult for governments to monitor, and Falkenrath noted, correctly, that the UAE "is in no way unique in wanting a back door into the telecommunications services used inside its borders to allow officials to eavesdrop on users." The U.S. Government is every bit as eager as the UAE and Saudi Arabia to ensure full and unfettered access to everyone's communications
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