LETTER: Democracy at stake online

The government not only spies on all of us but sometimes also infects, damages, or otherwise interferes with the use of our computers without accountability. The internet provides valid and valuable services, but it is being used to corrupt good citizenship by forcing us to give up our rights and freedoms in exchange for using it. The FISA court is a corrupt institution, operating in secret and ignoring the Constitutional rights of those affected by its decisions. There is no legitimate oversight over those who are betraying our trust.

Our government may not have interfered with your life on the internet, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t sacrificed your rights in exchange for the convenience of using it. And which is more important, your convenience or your freedom? If we knowingly allow the government to take away the rights of any citizen without protest, aren’t we accomplices in the crime?

The government wants the power to take away our right to think for ourselves, speak our mind when and how we want to, and protest when they betray their duty to protect the constitution and live by the rule of law. By allowing them to chisel away at our freedoms little by little, eventually we will have no rights or freedom left. In recent years our government has illegally attacked the citizens of at least seven countries without accountability: killing, maiming, and displacing the innocent lives of millions of men, women, and children.

If we continue to allow our government to ignore tenents of basic human decency here and abroad, simply because their infidelity hasn’t yet affected us personally, you can be sure that it will soon enough, and maybe sooner than you think.

— Mark A. Goldman

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