A Handy Timeline Of NSA’s Encroachment Into Americans’ Private Lives

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has compiled an extensive timeline of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) progressive intrusion into the private lives of American citizens, dating back to the agency’s creation in 1952.

The EFF, which seeks to defeat illegal governmental surveillance and litigates against the state to establish precedents that favor citizens’ Constitutional rights, explains on its website that the need for vigilance against a government that indiscriminately spies on its own people has never been more urgent:

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.

Respect for individuals’ autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices.

Check out the full timeline here.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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