Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Hopefully Snowdens Revelations Will Lead to Improved Accountability, Transparency, and Wake up an Apathetic America

The revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden are all over the news. I find it amusing that there is such uproar. Its as if no one was aware of the Patriot Act even though Americans and Congress knew what the Act entailed and its implications. Congress passed the Act in 2001; President George W. Bush signed it into law. It passed in the Senate by a vote of 98-1 and in the House of Representatives by 357-66. He signed off on its reauthorization in 2006. In 2011, Congress passed legislation extending the Patriot Act for four years; President Barack Obama signed that extension into law. Over the years, there have been other reauthorizations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the media, journalist, and bloggers warned Americans of the Acts impact on our civil liberties. In 2001, Democrat Senator Russ Feingold warned of the Patriot Acts implications on the Senate floor. He was the only Senator to vote against the legislation. The Snowden Prism leak of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance records is whats at issue. Prism is simply the codename for the computer system that collects the surveillance data for NSA. Regardless, the fact is Snowden revealed nothing that we should not have already known. In the opinion of some, surveillance data collection may have gone too far. But what did they expect? The Act clearly states its extent. What is significant about Snowdens disclosures is what once produced overwhelming congressional support and public apathy will now bring closer scrutiny. Perhaps it will bring reform and lead to concrete improvements in accountability and transparency. It should be a wake-up call for Americans to pay close attention to what their government is up to. Too many of us live with our head in the sand. The Patriot Act should not have even got off the ground if America was paying attention and brought the collective power they have to force change. It is way past the time when America must pay less attention to their favorite sports team, soap

opera, reality show, or whats going on in the life of their favorite celebrity. They need to pay attention to what really counts and has the effect of severely affecting their lives.