Friday, June 14, 2013

Republicans Trust the NSA...But Not the FBI!

Trey Smith

In one of the segments Wednesday on The Young Turks, host Cenk Uygur called out several Republicans for their rampant hypocrisy on the issue of privacy. He showed how members of the GOP, like Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, view privacy one way when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, but completely different when it comes to the 4th Amendment.

McConnell, for example, is steadfastly against ANY gun legislation that even hints at the creation of a federal gun registry. Why? According to McConnell, it invades the privacy of law-abiding Americans! Why does the government need to know who owns one or more guns and who does not?

How ironic it is that McConnell and his brethren see no issues at all when it comes to domestic spying. Even though the NSA is collecting a wide assortment of data on law-abiding Americans, conservatives have no problem with this kind of a massive invasion of privacy! While a domestic gun registry might help to keep guns out of the wrong hands and thereby save lives, McConnell and his ilk argue that this constitutes too much of a hassle for American gun owners. Yet, we are told by these same folks that domestic spying is worth the hassle might save some lives!

While Uygur focused on the issue of hypocrisy, I think there is another plausible explanation: Republicans trust the NSA, but not the FBI!

You see, the FBI would be charged with administering the gun registry. That means that government employees would be the ones maintaining the list and we know how conservatives feel about the big intrusive government, don't we?

In an interesting twist, the NSA also has a list of gun owners, but you don't hear conservatives crying foul.

I'm sure some of you may be curious as to how an individual like me knows that the NSA has such a list. Well folks, it is based on pure logic. We know that the national security state has the capacity to read the content of our online communications and this ability most likely extends to our telephone conversations as well. Consequently, ANY individual who owns a gun and has ever mentioned it online or on the phone unwittingly has shared this knowledge with the NSA. Not only that, but we have also learned that the NSA has access to any electronic sales receipts, so they have the data for most gun purchases.

All this information is being stored in massive databases. In order to access any of this information, the government works like the major search engines. My guess is that they are utilizing bots to index all the information and then analysts create specialized searches utilizing terms like protest, terrorism, blueprints or...guns. What this means is that if someone at the NSA or one of its many private contractors wanted to generate a list of gun owners in America, it wouldn't be difficult to do at all. It probably wouldn't include every gun owner, but I would presume that such a list would be fairly comprehensive.

So, if conservatives go bonkers over the idea that the FBI would know which Americans own guns and which do not, why aren't they just as concerned that the NSA has their hands on this information too? If it is a massive invasion of privacy for the FBI to know, why isn't it a massive invasion of privacy for the NSA to know that and so much more?

Just asking.

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