Can you hear us now?

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t sounded good, didn’t it.
    It’s going to help us catch all the bad guys; it will help us stop them before they do any more harm.
    The Patriot Act will solve everything.
    That’s what we thought we needed, in the days following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. At least some of us did.
    But even the best of intentions can lead one down a road best left not traveled.
    We found that out this past week.
    It’s been one scandal after another, lately. And it just keeps getting worse.
    The latest is the revelation by a British newspaper that information on many of our phone calls is being handed over to the National Security Agency—daily. And if that wasn’t enough, we also apparently find ourselves caught in a PRISM, with our emails and other digital files being made available by top Internet companies to the federal government.
    We best stop asking “Can you hear me now?”
    Apparently the federal government can, does and feels good about it.
    Patriotic Americans should be concerned—and we’re not just talking about those who have been unjustly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service.
    The fact is, as The Guardian newspaper reported last week, under “the Obama administration the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk - regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.”
    This time it’s not just reporters, Tea Partiers, Patriots and Constitutionalists—and it’s certainly not just suspected terrorists.
    It’s everyone.
    And that’s scary.
    Of course the programs are brushed off as perfectly harmless by the President and the federal government’s “intelligence” organizations.
    “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” the President stated last week. “You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” Of course this comes from the same President, who as a candidate, expressed disdain for such programs.
    Do those choices he now espouses mean throwing out the Fourth Amendment? They shouldn’t.
    Politicians on both sides of the aisle have staunchly defended the snooping and records collecting. But just as loud have been the common-sense citizens on both the left and right voicing outrage over the past week’s revelations.
    Those voices must grow louder.
    The federal government has no place monitoring this country’s citizens’ personal phone calls, emails and other digital communication.
    Hear us now, loud and clear: Stay the blazes away from our personal information. It’s none of your business.