LETTER: The government is watching us

Whistleblowers Edward Snowden and William Binney already told us that every electronic communication we have with another person is recorded by the government, including every telephone call that we make from our cell phones or land lines.

In late April, I got an advertisement from the post office offering me what they call a new Informed Delivery Service. All you have to do is sign up with the United States Postal Service, and they will email you a view of the envelope that has not been delivered to you yet. “See what letters are coming and check on packages anytime, anywhere.”

The National Security Agency (NSA) is building a data base that can show government snoops details of every communication we send or receive, sometimes including communications we have with others that we never intended to preserve in any form. We may think that the cell phone in our pocket is turned off, but I believe the NSA actually has the power to secretly turn on phones, TVs and computers when they want to and record and save what is being said in a room without our knowing it.

By now they probably have a good idea what our relationship is to every other person or institution on the planet. Now the government is apparently so sure that you and I are unable to process in our brains the potential threat to our freedom (that is implied by their power to infringe on our privacy this way), they are blatantly offering us the opportunity to see what will later be in our mailboxes as they record and catalog that information for themselves. Maybe it’s just a test to see if we are really as fully brainwashed or complacent as they think we are. Sure looks like they think they already know the answer to that question.

— Mark Goldman

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