NSA Scandal Is Somehow Legal?



The recent leak and subsequent scandal around the NSA’s PRISM program has become what one might be inclined to call a really big deal. The debate around it seemingly breached the usually iron clad partisan lines of Washington, with certain Republicans defending the president’s support of the program, while some hardline Democrats vilify him for it. With the lines so throughly shattered, the stage would be set for an educated national debate on privacy, the war on terror and to what extent security can be used to trump privacy, if this was any country other than the United States. Unfortunately, in a fashion far to typical of American politics, the educated debate has been all but drowned out by extreme rhetoric and what are, frankly, misleading assertions regarding the legality and constitutionality of the program.

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When The Spy Is Spied On



Edward Snowden has been charged with two felonies under the Espionage Act. By whom? By his own Government. Yes. That’s right. The US Government, which spies on its own citizens, claims that this whistle-blower is a spy. As a result he fled Hong Kong for Russia. Congratulations President Obama, you have just made laugh all the people who in the time of Cold War jumped over the Berlin Wall hoping for better future in the West.

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This Is Classified Information


The recent anti-privacy scandals surfacing in the mainstream media are both alarming and unsurprising.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that this kind of news is very difficult to talk about accurately. Issues involving national security and surveillance are almost always classified. To have a real discussion about these things would require you to be working within the department or have access to leaked documents. So in reality, the only way the public could ever have any knowledge about such information is if it is leaked.

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The Police State

Police State Comic

Protect our borders. Keep our people safe.

What fundamentally separates libertarianism from anarchy is the rule of law and presence of a state. Even the most extreme libertarian, the minarchist, agrees that the state has within its jurisdiction the monopoly of violence used against its citizens. (This would be the role of the police or other institutions that provide adequate law enforcement.)

Libertarians should ardently support this characteristic of the state more than any other characteristic.

A state has its borders and its monopoly of violence or use of force against its citizens. It may sound scary to “anti-statists” at first but this is ultimately what provides individuals with their freedoms. I won’t ignore that there are problems with law enforcement. Like any other government program, it is heavily flawed and frightening at times, but law enforcement is absolutely necessary to maintain order and the rule of law.

As time passes, however, the jurisdictions of law enforcement is accumulating power. What was once only a small handful of federal intelligence agencies and regional police departments is now a full on industry. Trillions of tax dollars are funding national defence and intelligence agencies. Of course the country needs to protect its people. Of course we need a military, but do we need one in practically every country in the world? Even countries who are wealthy and well capable of funding their own militaries?

Domestic agencies have increased not only in sheer number but in authority as well. Federal institutions alone include: The State Department (INR), Justice Department (FBI, DEA), Homeland Security (CGI, IA), Treasury (TFI), and the CIA and the ATF. Some of the countries most prominent industries don’t even have this many branches within their departments! Also, with the new anti-privacy laws and bills that have been recently enacted, I’m quite concerned with how many different organizations have access to my private emails, phone calls, etc.

I question whether or not it is fundamental to allocate so many different organizations to do one job: keep the people safe. Is it possible to do this without becoming a police state?

Nazzy S. is the author and editor for Puff Critique. Twitter: @PuffCritique

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