President Barack Obama unveiled a series of self-policing policies last Friday, in an effort to regain the confidence of Americans shellshocked by ongoing revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) and other Federal agencies are engaged in the secret, warrantless and comprehensive surveillance of nearly every aspect of citizens’ digital lives.
Among the President’s promises was a proposed revision to the now-infamous Patriot Act Section 215, which allows the FBI to secretly monitor the records and activities of U.S. citizens in conjunction with a terror investigation – even if the subject isn’t suspected of criminal activity.
Obama also pledged to appoint a civil liberties monitor who would serve as a legal advocate for “John Doe” citizens whenever Federal law enforcement agencies approach the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain a secret search warrant. To date, law enforcement has breezed through the FISC warrant-obtaining process without facing any opposition from an opposing entity that acts in the interest of the people who are to be spied on.
In addition, the President promised to create an appointed body of independent watchdogs to review intelligence and communications data-gathering policies. The panel would consist of outside tech experts who presumably understand, from a technological feasibility point of view, the potential weak points in assuring citizens’ privacy as the NSA and related agencies go on with their spy business. NSA head James Clapper, the man who lied to Congress about the extent of the agency’s surveillance on ordinary Americans, would head up that panel.
So it comes as no surprise that a Rasmussen poll taken over the weekend reveals that nearly everyone in the U.S.A. thinks it’s a bunch of B.S. Only 11 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed said they believe the President’s ideas will have the positive effect of curbing the scope of the Feds’ secret surveillance practices. Not only that, but 30 percent of those polled said they believe the government will actually ramp up its citizens spying activities, regardless of Obama’s promises. Another 49 percent said the President’s plans won’t change anything.
[M]ost voters still don’t trust the government to protect their constitutional rights,” observed poll analysts. “Very few expect the program to cut back on monitoring the phone calls of innocent Americans.”
Check out the summary of the poll’s results at Rasmussen.
Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.