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Opinion

In our opinion: An ability to conduct widespread surveillance doesn't mean permission to do so

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  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    There are only two, maybe three, issues in politics today on which we can all agree. The Federal unconstitutional overreach of surveillance in the name of national security is one of them.

    This is a legitimate test of whether the three branches work for the people or for special interests. If we can't get rid of these practices then we can surely state we do not live in a democratic republic.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Where was all this concern over our loss of freedoms when the Patriot Act was passed? Those who now write weekly complaining about losses to freedom were cheerleading these losses 10+ years ago. I wonder why?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    I believe that the people who seek to limit government's ability to govern are criminals wanting to freedom to commit crimes.

    If these people were truly concerned about the privacy of individuals they would say something about the collection and distribution of personal information by private entities. But they are absolutely silent regards private entities.

    If the collection of information about people is a crime when committed by our government, why shouldn't it be a crime when private entities do it? Is it simply the problem of government doing something that private enterprise could do for a profit?

    I believe that when you broadcast your personal information to the world in any media, you have not right to think that you have privacy. If this were applied to automobiles, we could have windows that prevent people from seeing in and covers for the license plates.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    Stalwart Sentinel: the notion of a "democratic republic" is a fading myth in the U.S. It's way past time that Americans accept the reality that the majority has little say in what happens on a national basis. Voting and electoral campaigns have no more purpose than to distract and entertain. Surveillance will continue to become more pervasive because that's what the ruling elite wants.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 5, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    August 6, 2013. "We don’t have a domestic spying program", Barrack H. Obama on national television. He wouldn't lie to us, would he?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    If you want privacy, don't live in a society of people. The success of a civilized society is dependant on its members living by a set of rules. It is the adherence to the rules of society is what secures all rights and freedoms and make living in a society with a government worthwhile. If you are unwilling to give up the privacy needed by our government, don't live here.

    The only way a government can enforce a set of rules is to invade the privacy of individuals. Government enforcement on the word of snitches and people like Mrs. Cravats, would not give us the results we want. The thing is, as we have more people and technological advancements the job of government becomes more complicated and it needs to keep up with the times.

    Insisting that our government abide by rules thought up 250 years ago, would be the same as if we limited speed cops to the riding of horses.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    "The privacy of all Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities," President George W. Bush said May 13, 2006, in his weekly radio address. "The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval. We are not trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans." [1]

    No Mountainman. No President would lie to us.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    Nice try Joe but you conveniently left out the part where President Bush specifically told us domestic calls from and to terrorist states WERE being monitored! Its called a sentence separation or a partial quote-taking quotes out of context. Oldest trick in the book for dishonest people!

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    If anyone thinks we haven't been lied to FOR YEARS, you're delusional...

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    For those who endorse this,

    "Those who give up Liberty for security deserve neither."

    Ultra Bob

    "Insisting that our government abide by rules thought up 250 years ago, would be the same as if we limited speed cops to the riding of horses."

    "Where was all this concern over our loss of freedoms when the Patriot Act was passed? Those who now write weekly complaining about losses to freedom were cheerleading these losses 10+ years ago. I wonder why?"

    That concern was there the whole time as far as I'm concerned Just because someone doesn't like Bush, doesn't mean they have to like Obama. They are cut from the same cloth.
    They are the rules of freedom. You can't have it any other way.

    "

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 5, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    According to CNN - May 11, 2006 - Does this not constitute "trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans."

    The NSA's domestic program, as described by sources, is far more expansive than what the White House has acknowledged. Last year, Bush said he had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and international e-mails of people suspected of having links to terrorists when one party to the communication is in the USA. Warrants have also not been used in the NSA's efforts to create a national call database.

    In defending the previously disclosed program, Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international calls. "In other words," Bush explained, "one end of the communication must be outside the United States."

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    @Ultra Bob
    There is a data base out there that has all personal correspondences in it. Tell me this can be used for good and not evil? If there is data to be taken it will be taken.
    If I wanted you out of the picture, it would not be hard for me to present your personal information I obtained in a light that was totally unfavorable to you. It would not be hard at all. Which is why a database of all our personal information is too dangerous a temptation for individuals who crave power.
    Delete the database, don't collect that kind of information, it will not and can not be used for good.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    Mountanman said: "Nice try Joe but you conveniently left out the part where President Bush specifically told us domestic calls from and to terrorist states WERE being monitored! Its called a sentence separation or a partial quote-taking quotes out of context."

    That doesn't help your argument because he was still lying.

    "Oldest trick in the book for dishonest people!" like "you didn't build that"?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" the Patriot Act expired in 2011. Obama, in conjunction with the Democrats who opposed the Patriot Act, extended it and made gave the worst parts of it even more power. What do you think of your boy now?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Having the ABILITY to do it doesn't give you permission. But the LAW does.

    That's why I told people to be careful back when the Patriot Act was proposed during the Bush Administration, and when it was later expanded and extended by the Obama Administration.

    Partisanship gains today become liabilities later. That's why you don't take the bait... Even IF your guy is in the White House NOW! In a few years I guarantee you he will NOT be in the White House, and you never know what another administration will do with the law you passed to target THEM...

    Same with the "Nuclear-Option" Democrats passed recently while Republicans were in the minority (to prevent minority from being able to block some things).... Not such a cool law when in a few years YOU (meaning Democrats) are in the minority... Or the OTHER party is doing the spying...

    That's the problem with passing legislation you hope will only impact the OTHER party or problems you have NOW... Someday YOU will be the minority... or the person the NSA is spying on, or the person/group IRS is targeting...

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    You could look at the 2nd amendment the exact same way! Just because we have the right to bear arms doesn't mean we should.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    @Mister J,

    FYI... MANY people who support the 2nd amendment don't own guns. I'm one.

    Just because you have the right... doesn't automatically mean you have to do it.

    I support the Constitution and the 2nd amendment... but I don't own guns.

    But I COULD... That's what's important...

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    to 2 bits

    Complete agreement. Further, the average person does NOT need to be as well armed as Seal Team 6.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    @Mister J,
    In most cases, all that is needed is the POSSIBILITY that the person is armed... to stop some types of crime from happening.

    A criminal won't take the risk of entering a home, or a school, or car... if he calculates that there's a good chance the person on the other side of that door is armed and able to stop him.

    Same goes for civil defense. Everybody doesn't need to be armed. But the mere possibility that every citizens COULD be armed has stopped some military ambitions. Case in point, General Isoroku Yamamoto who said Japan could NEVER attack/occupy the US mainland, "because there would be a gun behind every blade of grass", or something like that.

    It's the theory that even the fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants. And it has worked (examples: VietNam Gorilla-warfare, insurgency that worked against the greatest military of our time in Iraq (even after their military had been completely defeated).

    Same goes in a neighborhood, a house, a school, a mall, if the criminal suspects armed people will stop him cold... he won't even attempt.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    The philosophy of "Those who give up Liberty for security deserve neither" is a dumb philosophy, and especially dumb for an American, who readily trades some liberties for the security of group protection.

    For example, we give up the right to kill other people who offend us so that we can walk down the street unmolested. It's not a perfect trade and doesn't always work, but it works good enough for most us that we don't have to carry a gun for protection.

    We have given up thousands of liberties for the more preferred liberties. And prior to Obama, I don't remember ever hearing about the patriot act. Somewhere along the line, I must have traded something for the liberty of not having to watch over every tiny detail of my government.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 6:36 p.m.

    For most of us there are thousands of databases out there with our personal information. The only ones I really worry about are those that give the match info for heart transplants.

    Every job, every home, every city, town, state and government has your personal information. Every doctor, hospital, health care system has your personal data. The merchants you trade with and the churches you attend. And with the ability to cross reference, every one has every thing. They are able to judge your buying habits, your entertainment, your personality and your character. And there's nothing you can do about it.

    The fact is, information and date are worth money.

    However, the rich and powerful don't have to frequent the places that require there personal date and the thought of a government data base might not exclude them.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    Here we go -- again...

    Bush Spying, NSA Data base in Draper Utah, Patriot Act, GOOD.
    Obama being handed over the keys to everything Bush started and did -- BAD.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Normally, being conservative, I would side with the intelligence community to honestly and fairly do its job to collect information that could help prevent crime or terrorism in our country. However, if this overreach is in someway stifling the press from doing its job as government watchdog, then I do believe that a threat to our freedom exists. And, as you might imagine, I have hardly believed the current press, covering the current administration, has been doing its job. Certainly not to the degee it did when Richard Nixon was in office. Better that we have a press that does not like the leaders, than one that does. Maybe we should have a conservative press at the White House and Congress when the Democrats are in power, and the current press corps when Republicans are in office. That way, we could trust that journalists are doing their 4th estate job. Which, is the most important job when it comes to protecting the people from government overreach, such as the article points out may be happening.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    But we can be proud to have that eye-sore NSA facility in Utah County - right? In a state and culture that supposedly values individual freedom and dignity, what a disgrace to have that NSA facility in our back yard. We can thank our elected representatives from Utah County for lobbying to have that here. It is a cancer on the State of Utah to have such a symbol of the violation of our constitutional rights! Makes me want to vomit every time if drive pass the place - ugh.