I’m sure that many readers have seen the headlines in their own media sources that a US Federal Appeals Court has struck down as “illegal” the NSA mass-spying program directed against innocent Americans. There is a great deal about this story in the first two links, but I’d like to focus on information that is “between the lines” of these media stories. This is a welcome ruling, to be sure, but there is a possibility that the NSA mass-spying programs could get even worse in spite of this ruling if the Obama administration gets its way.
The first point I want to address is that the first link notes that the Federal Appeals Court ruled against the NSA spying programs on a unanimous vote! This is very significant. It indicates that this case is so clear-cut that all the Judges on the Appeals Court shared this opinion regardless of which US president appointed them. The unanimous verdict deeply undercuts all assertions by the Obama administration and its appointees that there is any legality or Constitutional basis for the mass-spying programs. I think the federal government knew all along that it was illegal and unconstitutional. That is, I believe, one reason why it was kept secret, even from many in Congress. The first link also reports that the mass-spying programs were “repeatedly” approved “in secret” by the FISA Court “who hear arguments only from the government.” The US Appeals Court ruling reveals just how prejudicial and unlawful the rulings of this secret FISA court have been. It is my view that the secretive FISA court was created only for the purpose of generating “search warrants” for data mining efforts that no real court or real Judge would ever have granted. In such a way, FISA was created to give a “fig leaf” of legality to the mass spying program the federal agencies knew no real trial court would ever permit because real court judges would have needed to see “probable cause” before granting any search warrant for any purpose. By creating FISA, a “virtual court” was created which would function as a warrant-granting, rubber-stamp entity functioning outside the recognized federal court system. The ruling by the Federal Appeals Court begs an important question: Since its ruling inherently indicates that all FISA court warrants were “illegally” granted, do those “warrants” now all lack legal applicability and are all federal agents who acted under FISA search warrants (or presidential directives) liable for civil damages for violating Americans’ Constitutional rights and for violating the laws of Congress?
The first two links also include information that the US Congress is considering whether to renew, end or modify the Patriot Act which contained the provision which the US Appeals Court ruled did not permit such vast government spying programs. As one Judge of the thee-judge panel wrote, “the sheer volume of information sought [by the US government in its spying programs] is staggering….extending “to every record that exists, and indeed to records that do not yet exist.” This is an amazing legal conclusion. It basically says the spying program was intended to spy on everyone, everywhere and do it all the time. Apparently it applied to all past, present and future information that is stored or created anywhere. It was an Orwellian Big Brother program if there ever was one. Since the US Congress is going to consider this matter now, you may want to contact your Congressional delegation if you wish them to stop such Orwellian spying programs directed at innocent people. One source cited in the second link dubbed the US government’s interpretation of its authority under the Patriot Act as “shockingly broad.”
The wildly-broad US spying programs have had international implications. Other nations have, understandably, resented the US spying programs. The third link reports that the German government is reconsidering its cooperation with the US government on spying programs due to the concerns of German citizens about the spying programs.
Now let’s consider a very bad possible outcome to this matter. Even if the US Congress stops and outlaws the “meta-data” spying programs, will it require the federal agencies to dump all the data which the Federal Appeals Court has ruled was gathered illegally? If not, all that illegally-gathered data will remain on files all over the place in many agencies’ records. Even if the Congress orders the agencies to dump all the illegally-gathered data, I’d like you to consider a possibility whereby the data will never be dumped and that the mass-spying efforts will continue unabated and could even be expanded. The second link reports that “President Obama has asked Congress for changes that would leave the data in the hands of private phone companies, not the government (emphasis added).” The link further reports that Obama wants to create…” an alternative mechanism to preserve the program’s essential capabilities without the government holding the data (emphasis added).” Are you beginning to see the truly devious possible outcome from Obama’s desired changes? If the government cannot gather the information any more and even if it is ordered to “dump” all the illegally-gathered data, it may make no difference at all. What if the government agencies “dump” the data simply by transferring all of it, in toto, to private phone companies or other private Internet corporations? That’s what it sounds like Obama wishes to do. If that is the case, the government could simply have the secretive FISA court issue warrants for any or all of the secret data “dumped” into the private companies’ databases and that would result in the government re-gaining access to all the data it had just “dumped” into private hands. In other words, nothing will have changed.
There is another dangerous possibility. The US Constitution was written at a time when none of the founding fathers could have envisioned anything like multinational corporations, phone companies, Internet companies, etc. The US Constitution was written to constrain the federal government, and it is abundantly evident the federal government has not wanted to live within its Constitutional constraints. However, private phone companies–indeed, all private companies–have no Constitutional restraints on their intelligence-gathering activities. What is to prevent a situation where the private corporations take over the data meta-mining activity and then have the non-court FISA court issue warrants permitting government spy agencies to have access to whatever information the private companies gather on individuals. We all have seen reports that it is staggering how vast the data-mining of large Internet companies (indeed, all companies) already are as they try to create a profile on everyone for advertising and sales purposes. Do you trust the private multinational companies with all the intelligence-gathering powers now wielded by the US federal government agencies if President Obama transfers that authority to them?
When it comes to legislation, the “devil is in the details.” Based on the second link’s report about Obama’s wishes, it sounds like he wants to change the intelligence-mining activities so the Constitutionally-unregulated private corporations do the spying rather than the Constitutionally-limited federal agencies. If that happens, the entire data mining programs could expand exponentially–not just nationally, but globally.
Revelation 13:16-18 prophesies the eventual, global “beast” authority would have the ability to monitor and control all financial/commercial activity. In order to do that, it has to have a global data meta-mining operation in place on a global basis. It sounds like just such a system could result from the changes Obama wishes to have implemented to the Patriot Act. The accuracy of biblical prophecy is becoming ever evident and relevant as time goes by.