In author George Orwell’s predictive book entitled “1984,” he describes a world where an all-powerful super-government constantly spies on its citizens with facial expression recognizing software to detect even the slightest hint of rebellion against the state.
The population is always fearful their facial expressions will alert the “thought police,” and citizens will end up in an interrogation room explaining why they weren’t happy and contented to be living under the rulership of their leader,”Big Brother.”
That very scenario may be in the not too distant future for Americans after it was revealed that former President Obama illegally authorized his National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on average Americans for trivial reasons not involved with national security.
The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.
More than 5 percent or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.
Supposedly, the Obama administration reportedly disclosed the information on its own just prior to Trump being elected but we can be reasonably sure it was only a face-saving gesture:
The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.
A normally pro-Obama court even censured administration officials for not disclosing sooner:
The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.
The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.
Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.
Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.
The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true.
“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702,” the unsealed court ruling declared. “The Oct. 26, 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.”
Again, we learn more of the careless abuses of power that characterized the Obama administration’s lawless attitude towards America and Americans. The Founders put safeguards in our constitution to protect average people from the tyranny of a power-hungry government.
Obama routinely skirted around those safeguards as if they don’t exist.
If our leadership do not act quickly to punish brazen violators of these important safeguards and take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again, we may very well see conditions in this country that make Orwell’s 1984 scenario look like a walk in the park!