This post is not about transformation in and of itself, it is about a transformation that needs to happen. The transformation we need is a transformation from a government that unconditionally spies on its citizens for protection of the elites to a government that transparently provides surveillance in the name of the public good.
U.S. Citizens should all be aware of the recent revelations by Snowden, Yahoo, AT&T, and similar cases that have illustrated federal agencies such as the NSA who spy on our data. What’s missing is a clear definition of what they’re looking for, where they’re looking for it, and when. How are we supposed to know what is OK and what is not OK? If I discuss terrorist ideals online only to find myself on a terrorist watchlist, incapable of leaving the country – the U.S. Just created a terrorist because I would be forced to fight for my freedom of speech. Does simply writing “I am a terrorist” raise flags? Should I avoid the taboo subject and refrain from talking about it entirely?
Opponents of transparent surveillance will argue that by exposing what is monitored we make it easier for terrorists to get away and avoid detection. This is such foolish thinking. Compare, if you will, the situation to public video surveillance. Putting a notice on a wall that some alley is being recorded will not force thieves to be sneakier… They simply will not commit a crime down that alley.
This can be seen as a dangerous transformation – for no one knows how society would react subconsciously knowing what exactly they do online is being monitored. However it would be more ethical, more constitutional, and most likely more wise. Consider the present scenario: unconditional monitoring of everything. Even the FBI director has stated that we need to place tape over our cameras for security. So right off the bat, U.S. citizens must live with the idea in their subconscious that everything is being monitored. What other force is capable of seeing and hearing everything we do? God. Americans are being forced to worship their government.
Let’s transform this into a positive place. Let’s make the government explicitly outline exactly what they’re looking for and where. For even writing this blog post, I could be on a watch list and not even know. Where is the harm in letting citizens know where they stand? There is nothing a civilian can do which should be hidden from that citizen under normal circumstances. To conspire behind their back is just as wrong as that citizen conspiring behind the governments back.
The government has lowered itself down to the level of organized crime and secret organizations.