Whidbey News-Times


We need to speak out on privacy concerns | Letter

July 22, 2013 · Updated 4:09 PM


There were a lot of noises and flashes on the Fourth of July, just as there was a lot of news coverage of Edward Snowden. The focus of both events seems to be on the sensational instead of focusing on the substance.

What does Independence Day mean to us today? In 1776, it meant being free from the oppressive government of England which denied many rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech and privacy.

Has the sensational news coverage of Edward Snowden masked the devastating invasions taking place on our freedom of speech and rights to privacy by both corporations and government?

Whether you consider Snowden a traitor, information thief, whistleblower or hero, his leaks revealed the shocking nature of surveillance that is taking place in the United States today.

According to leaked top secret documents, the National Security Agency obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and other Internet giants in the United States.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, of Colorado, said, “I don’t think the American public knows the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.

“I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security Agency is collecting. It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here.”

Personally, I’d like to continue to email letters to the editor concerning any topic without fear of being monitored by the government.

If you’d like to join me in speaking out, write to our members of Congress and president to let them know you want strict limits and regulations put on the surveillance and collection of data from the American public.

Also, there needs to be Congressional involvement with full access to oversee the activities of the National Security Agency.


Bob Effertz


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