There's been plenty of discussion since Wednesday about the continuing revelations about how our government is Hoovering up a great deal of data on all of us, and has instant, unencumbered access to a great deal more data that it isn't actually Hoovering up.
Needless to say, I'm not happy about this. Largely unsurprised (OK, surprised just a little bit by the scale of it all, but other than that, not really), but depressed.
I don't really expect a popular backlash against this. Remember what happened when we found back in 2007 or 2008 that the government had this capability, but was allegedly only collecting data where one end of the call was outside the country. There was a brief bit of sound and fury, and then Congress responded by legalizing the program. At which point there was outrage from the lefty blogosphere, but otherwise...crickets.
I'd like to believe that this time, the government's really overreached, and that people are upset that it knows everybody we call on the phone (landline or cell, makes no difference), and how long and how often we talk to them, and that they've also been scooping up data from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. about us whenever they damned well please. And the credit card data, and who knows what else.
But I'll believe it when I see it.
And let's face it, one of our two parties is totally fine with this stuff, and most of the other one (clearly including our President) is, too. There's really nobody we can lean on to attach some consequences to politicians' condoning this data-sweeping: if we fail to support Dems in retaliation, we get Republicans who are just as bad on this, and worse on a shitload of other issues. And the Dems running against incumbent Republicans with any chance of winning are the sorts of Dems who will also support this stuff.
It seems that the surveillance state as an issue has been effectively removed from the sphere of practical politics.
Sorry for being such a wet blanket on a beautiful Sunday morning. I think I'll go outside for awhile.