Congress is considering legislation to indemnify phone companies that allow the government access to their equipment for the purpose of spying without warrants. How many ways can I say, “No,” please don’t let this happen.
Our country should be able to spy on our enemies. In fact, our government has an obligation to protect us using methods like spying. However, the hurdles the government must leap before starting to spy have to be high and those doing the spying must be answerable.
What I don’t want is unfettered access without oversight. That seems to be what we’ve got now, and what this legislation will retroactively legitimize.
The government (not just this administration, though it is the poster child) is notoriously poor at acknowledging its own mistakes. Mistakes that are made ‘in the dark,’ sadly, may be ‘forgotten.’ These errors affect real people.
Telcos, which depend on the government for business and favorable legislation, shouldn’t be put in the position of deciding whether to help based on whether their collective backs will later be scratched. You can be sure that’s why they violated the law in the past by allowing the government access to their networks for warrantless spying.
Government works best when it operates with oversight. That’s why our founding fathers decided three branches of government were better than one.