A lot has changed since this summer.
We’ve finally been able to confirm—and force media and government institutions to address—longstanding concerns that Washington has discarded the Constitution and is indiscriminately capturing our internet searches, social media posts, text messages, emails, IP addresses, electronic banking information, and phone calls (content and meta data) without any evidence of wrongdoing. The data from whistleblowers essentially confirmed suspicions that the NSA, for years, has been collecting and archiving records of what every American reads, writes, hears, and says.
Such warrantless bulk data collection sows the seeds for political repression. We should know this. We’ve seen it before. Help stop the cycle today.
The former East Germany and the Soviet Union were historical paragons of authoritarianism. But neither of those regimes had technological capabilities even comparable to the National Security Agency (NSA). With arbitrary detention without trial added to unapologetic profiling according to race, religion, and ideology, there is little to prevent a future American official—at nearly any point in the chain of command—from taking advantage of the profound secrecy and unaccountability across the national security establishment to misuse its powers for dangerous ends.