The U.S. government and state agencies are becoming increasingly intolerant of whistle-blowers, wishing to silence anyone who points out their unconstitutional measures. The latest to qualify for this is the PRISM scandal, with NSA gearing up to seek a criminal probe into leaks by the Guardian.
Soon after the Guardian reports that NSA has wiretapped virtually the entire nation, U.S. government has formally jumped into the fray, vehemently defending its intelligence agencies. Heading these attempts is the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, who has unapologotically defended NSA’s PRISM program and tried to gloss over its gross constitutional violations.
To justify the secret surveillance of the U.S. citizens, Clapper claims that the authorization for NSA’s monitoring is issued by Attorney General and FISA courts. However, he failed to point out exactly how the issuance of permission by the cited entities is legal or ethically fair.
Sadly, rather than addressing the concerns of the common users and privacy activists, Clapper’s chief focus was to lambaste the media entities who have uncovered NSA’s PRISM program, apparently embarrassing the Obama government. In Clapper’s words, “Over the last week we have seen reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe.”
Right on the heels of Clapper’s aggressive defense, NSA has launched a ‘crime reports’ seeking a criminal probe into the leaks by the Guardian. The request has been sent to the Justice Department, who will decide whether or not this warrants investigation.
Sadly, one can’t be very hopeful of the Justice Department when it comes to such probes. The Department has proved to be biased against any and all whistle-blowers, trying its best to grill Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. And same can be expected of it in the PRISM-gate case. However, NSA and the government must not be allowed to get away with this or we will effectively be relinquishing the future of internet into the hands of Orwellian overlords.