Just a few days ago, U.S. president Barack Obama came forth and talked about PRISM, what it does and whom it concerns.
He made a statement then, that I tried to avoid thus far, but it seems I can’t resist anymore. He said that PRISM “does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States.”
Now, while I've written a bit on this theme, I didn't go into the deeper issue, which is why there are so many problems with the sentence.
One is the fact that no one can actually believe that you are only spying on the rest of nearly 7 billion people of the globe and gather absolutely no data on your own turf.
Secondly, I understand that Obama is trying to make U.S. citizens feel more at ease about the NSA program, but his statement is offensive to the rest of the world. Yes, it is offensive to the rest of us that are officially being scanned by NSA technicians.
What made me bring this up after so many days is another statement that has recently been made by John Boehner, the House of Representatives Speaker.
During an interview with ABC, he called Edward Snowden, the man behind the secret documents leak, a traitor and stressed the fact that this national security program is meant to keep Americans safe.
Furthermore, he said that the President also outlined that there were appropriate safeguards in place to make sure there was no snooping on Americans at home.
Which brings us back to how it’s OK for the U.S. government to spy on the rest of the world, but it’s not OK for other entities to do the same.
His viewpoint is absolutely valid, but anyone who has the power and will to spy on the United States can do so without tapping into PRISM and the data that it has collected.
“It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it’s a giant violation of the law,” he said during the interview.
Again, I’m just going to assume that any enemy of the United States already has an inkling of what their agencies can do, regardless if these documents were ever published or not.
So, the problem isn’t really the fact that foreign forces now know that the NSA can spy on their Google chat or Facebook messages.
The issue is the fact that millions of people are riled up that their promised privacy is just fake. And U.S. politicians are the ones that have to deal with it.