How naive can Americans be? Twenty years ago a friend who worked at NSA told me about the programs they had to look for certain words in phone conversations, that every foreign embassy everywhere (including our own!) was bugged, that cell phone conversations as well as every other thing that you could imagine was being intercepted and "interpreted". I have assumed this to be the case ever since then. That was TWENTY YEARS AGO!!
And indeed before then! In 1967, soon after we came to the US - 1967 was 46 years ago - we had a telegram intercepted and sent to the Pentagon for examination, interpretation, or whatever. The telegram said Happy Wedding Anniversary, and was addressed to David & Julia Liddle. How did we find out about it's detour? When it was delivered, I commented to the post office man who delivered it that our wedding anniversary had been a day or two earlier and whoever had sent it either didn't know when it was, unlikely, or had forgotten. Then I noticed that it was dated and should have reached us a day or two earlier. It was at this time that the postal carrier told us that it had been sent to the Pentagon before it came on to us. he said that a lot of foreign mail and telegrams went there first.
If there is anyone out there that does not know this happens then I feel sorry for them. It should be obvious.
And, what POSSIBLE use could listening in to our phone conversations, looking at out our e-mails, or any other form of spying be to the US government except to look for terrorists? I cannot think of any reason, except looking for terrorists, spies or internet hackers trying to harm us that the US government would want to know if you were wishing Auntie Mabel a Happy Birthday, were saying "Wish you here" from vacation, Saying "Come on over, my husband just left.", calling to ask you to "Pick up Milk, bread and eggs on the way home." "Go to the library and pick up a DVD for tonight". Etc. Etc. Etc.
In case you did not know, there are thousands of nuclear weapons out in the world owned by at least a dozen nations - lets see, The US, The UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Iran, Russia - several States of Russia, China, and maybe some others that I have forgotten or we don't know about?! And there are dozens? Hundreds? of Terrorist groups that would love to have one or several nuclear weapons. And doubtless are trying to get them. And equally doubtless would use it/them as soon as they got them. There are almost unlimited targets, including Washington DC, New York, London, and numerous other soft targets as well as targets that you and I could not even think of but the terrorists will. When that first one goes off, probably within the next ten years, the questions THEN will be, "Why didn't we know?" "Why did we do nothing to stop it?" And so on.
Well folks THAT is what we are trying to do now - stop it. BUT Of course the false indignation about "Our Rights" etc is going to prevent us finding out who, what and where. The news organizations and the Politicians from "The other side" care nothing about anything except getting that scoop or getting them selves into power.
Why do you care about having your conversations listened to or read? Unless you are doing something that you shouldn't be doing. I certainly have nothing to hide. Do you? Is it important enough to stop us looking for nuclear terrorism?
Think about it.