Legislators in both the U.S. House and Senate seem to be skirting the central issue of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. They're throwing up a smoke screen in an attempt to divert our attention from warrant less invasions of privacy that clearly violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - supported by the Kate v. United States (1967) decision of the Supreme Court. This seminal judgment extended privacy protections to all citizens of the United States.
Even if the Supreme Court chose to disregard this the supreme codified rule of law of our land, this should not dissuade citizens from exercising their inalienable right to comprehend their U.S. Constitution. A convenient interpretation by an unelected body of omniscient pompous bench holders doesn't negate the legal protections that this document enshrines. The people are ultimately the final word when it comes to the government that they choose to sanction and the laws that they believe best reflect the spirit of a free society.
Clearly, the NSA spying of foreign government leaders of friendly nations is an egregious breach of trust but if we were to believe certain mainstream media outlets and a select group of U.S. legislators this has been the only dastardly act committed by an overreaching spy agency.
Government would much rather focus on 'cleaning up' a few procedures that involve the NSA's spying of nation-state leaders than address the much more thorny issue of how this newly transformed (since 2001) intelligence beast has invaded the private networks of Google and Yahoo. For it is definitely better to sweep under the rug NSA hacking of these cloud repositories of world data - including the emails, videos, and other forms of information that U.S. citizens trusted would remain private - especially our personal communications.
The U.S. government's diverting attention in unison with the major media outlets - running quickly from dangerous topics that must be forgotten by the citizenry is an all too familiar tactic used to turn major issues into insignificant blips.
There's really no need to get all of us worked up over the suppression of our freedoms and the trashing of the U.S. Constitution by those sworn to uphold these precious ingredients of our democratic society. Just keep everyone drooling in front of their favorite online game, mentally wasting away watching endless hours of cable television, and compiling meaningless sports stats for immediate recital.
Let's not get overly concerned that what inspired the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was just such acts by an aggressive government that disregarded basic inherit freedoms. "General writs of assistance", nothing more than a general search warrant allowed agents of the courts in British America to search literally anywhere without restriction. This much hated practice of mass searches by the British, the ferreting out of disloyal, subversive, 'terrorist' elements, or anyone who simply disagreed with royal polices was the underlying inspiration for the Fourth Amendment. By codifying that the whim of a government official or entity was not sufficient cause to execute a search, the former colonists believed they had ensured the illegality of this type of invasion of privacy.
Probable cause; facts supplied to a court of an individual's or group's involvement in illegal activities and the issuing by a court of a search warrant is the standard that our rule of law rests upon - not the burglary of rivers of private data streams - the personal information of citizens.
Condoning police state tactics in the name of keeping all citizens safe from subversive elements - essentially keeping us safe from ourselves is a circular train of thought. Tyrants love to twist and turn logic and utilize propaganda to define their own unique form of self-serving reality - an illusion supported by fear.
If remaining safe means we sacrifice our freedoms on the altar of expediency, resort to the rule of whim, conveniently forget illegal government activities, and allow the powerful without any input from the citizenry to determine our future, then safety is definitely overrated. For if we must be shackled to a slave ship placidly gliding on a calm sea - if this is our ordained life - let an unforeseen tempest blow us to bits.