The Patriot Act is due to be reauthorized again in a mere six weeks on June 1, 2015. While no one doubts the importance of this act, or the continued need for foreign surveillance and border security, the act does contain some controversial provisions on domestic surveillance and security. Controversial provisions which, since the act came into law on October 26, 2001, have resulted in one arrest of one taxi driver who wanted to give $8,500 to a known terrorist group. (In other words, the controversial provisions never resulted in the ends they hoped to achieve.)
If no fuss is made, the Senate will just rubber stamp it back into law, as is, on June 1, 2015 and that might be the right thing to do. However, before the Senate does this, every American should decide if that is what she wants and advise the senator she elected accordingly. Because, whether she knows it or not, the provisions of the act not only allow the NSA to essentially tap and store just about every piece of electronic communication created by everyone in the US and by everyone communicating with someone in the US, but it allows the NSA to intercept, store, and view all of your private pictures, including those naked selfies the average American is so fond of taking.
In layman’s terms, if you took a dick-pic between October 26, 2001 and today, the NSA has it and there’s a good chance that someone who was not the intended recipient has looked at it. Listen to the interview below between Edward Snowden and John Oliver (who was the first to put the provisions in layman’s terms) where Snowden not only confirms that multiple sections of the Patriot act give the NSA these rights, but recounts his experience where NSA employees casually shared private pictures of various individuals’ naked parts for fun.
If you are happy with this, then by all means tell your Senator to re-authorize the Patriot act as is. But if you aren’t, tell your Senator that while you fully support the foreign surveillance and border security provisions of the act, domestically, you have a right to your privacy and you would like to see the controversial provisions amended to where the government agencies can only collect your personal, private data with probable cause and a warrant.
What do you think of this, LOLCat?