Right at the heels of Edward Snowden’s controversial confession of NSA employees misuse of sexually compromising surveillance photos on unsuspecting U.S. citizens, another whistleblower reveals the existence of database files of hundreds of thousands of citizens across the country collectively with all overseas and foreign targets.
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept reported the leakage of more recent classified documents, dated August 2013, three months since Snowden along with millions worth of extremely sensitive government data files high-tailed it to Hong Kong. This proves the whistleblower had to be a different one, whom has chosen to follow in Snowden’s footsteps but safely kept his identity concealed.
It is believed that the source of this new information did not originate from NSA but rather it came from the Pentagon as evidenced by the stamp of “Secret” instead of the usual “Classified”. More incriminating is the label “NOFORN” which meant that it should be kept from the foreign governments regardless of the agreement of transparency concerning threats of terrorism among the different countries.
According to this newly public information, some 680,000 records of citizens have been collected as part of the post 9/11 anti-terror program, an incredibly large list of targeted possible suspected terrorists. Yet, more than 40% are said to have no known affiliation to any terrorist group. Together, that amounts to 280,000 foreign and U.S. citizens with no known terrorist affiliation or committed any act to raise suspicion. 25,000 of those names target Muslim citizens from various states and cities.
U.S. Officials made a statement advising the database is an important layer of security that is shared across the intelligence, military and law organizations. Unfortunately, the government has not upheld Obama’s promise of transparency, and the way we are finding out about these practices has been anything but transparent.
What if you end up on that list for no apparent reason? What if you are already part of it? You will probably never know, but that collected data can be misused, stolen, staged to create false incriminating stories and effectively taking away your right to privacy. The thought that various paid officials would be snooping on my daily internet activity, Facebook and social media conversations, personal emails and effectively putting the pieces of your daily offline activities together is enough to make me feel uneasy about our society as a whole. Not only that my own privacy is being taken away, but that a whole Country is taking such an invasive direction.