Ooh, the shit is really hitting the fan now. Not only have we received confirmation that our federal government is spying on ALL Verizon customers, but according to Senator Diane Feinstein, the government has been doing so since 2006!! This means that the original request came during the administration of George W. Bush and that the Obama administration has renewed the request all throughout HIS presidency. In other words, the rights of Verizon customers have been violated for 7 years with no end in sight!
Why are the customers of Verizon being singled out for such shoddy treatment? Are they potentially more dangerous than the customers of their rivals?
Of course not and this leads to an obvious conclusion. While we have the paperwork in hand to prove that Verizon has been compelled legally to hand over this information, the government is compelling the same thing from all other communications companies. And, most likely, they have been doing it since 2006.
What this means is that every phone call, text, email, tweet and who knows what else from almost every person who resides in the United States is being collected by our secretive "democratic" government. All this information is being stored in giant databases and countless numbers of people are analyzing it. It means that the right of privacy has been shredded beyond belief. If recent reports are accurate, all three branches of the federal government have been in on this evisceration of the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Why has the 4th Amendment been so vilely compromised? According to government officials, it is to keep us safe. They need this dastardly "tool" to protect us.
And yet, according to the government, two young men (who the FBI was familiar with) allegedly planted bombs at the Boston Marathon which killed and injured hundreds of people. With all this information at the government's disposal, these two fellows supposedly nonchalantly walked into a crowded area and committed a terrorist act and, at least initially, the government was clueless as to who was responsible. What good is it to collect all this information if it doesn't allow the government to thwart supposed terrorist acts BEFORE they happen?
In my view, the primary reason the government is collecting this data has little to do with terrorism. I'm not suggesting it has nothing to do with terrorism, only that this is not the chief motivation. It smacks of a strategy to quell political dissent by putting everyone on notice that almost nothing we think or do anymore is private. US Constitution be damned!
Republicans have so desperately wanted a scandal and this is a scandal of gargantuan proportions. It is so big, in fact, that impeaching a large number of the political participants won't do the situation justice, though it would certainly be a good start. What the American people should do is to punish EVERY politician who has been a party to this -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- by voting ALL OF THEM out of office when they come up for reelection, if not sooner.