Obama Makes Distinction Between Light And Hardcore Surveillance

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” The government collects “phone numbers … and duration of calls… they are not looking at people’s names and they are not looking at content.” – President Obama, today in San Jose, CA

That roughly translates into “we’re just kinda keeping an eye on you, not really… you know… super-monitoring your calls hardcore.” As if light surveillance is somehow okay in a free society and we should just get used to things being like this now. In a few more years, when persistent drones fly in our skies high above the clouds, and news breaks out that the feds are monitoring everyone’s movements on the ground, the response will be:

“Nobody is bugging your house. We’re just looking at where you go and for how long… we’re not looking at people’s names and we’re not watching you inside your own house.” – President Obama in the Panopticon of the future

Because that would be crossing some kind of line, whereas just keeping tabs on everyone is perfectly normal for a democratic government, composed by the people and for the people, to do.


Update, June 9th: The very next day, Obama added:

“You’ve got private companies that have a lot more data and and a lot more details about emails and phone calls than the federal government does,” he said.

“So we’re going to take that data from those private companies by force, because we realize that no one would sign up for a government-run Facebook.”

One nation, under surveillance

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