Allow me to break away from women’s politics and issues for a minute. This past week brought a storm of news regarding internet “security” (sort of any oxymoron in today’s day & age), NSA spying (we all know they do it), and just how much our government is infringing in our lives.
While I commend the President in openly addressing these activities, this still begs the question…why? What does the government need to know about you or I that they should legally be allowed to tap our phones without cause? We the citizens of the United States have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that are slowly disintegrating. I encourage people to write their representatives, senators and yes, the President to state that we will not tolerate this any longer. We should not be treated as criminals in the name of “national security.” President Obama in this respect is no different than George W. The Patriot Act is not patriotic. It is an insult which should be abolished. The likes of Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are heroes in my opinion. They should be treated as concerned citizens, not criminals. Time Magazine had it right when they included Snowden in their top people of the year issue.
Obama’s speech aside, nothing that he said should be a shock to people in the current age of electronic media, social networking and ever changing “privacy” policies. We live in an age where our lives are becoming entrenched in electronic media. Although internet services are convenient, we should pause a moment to survey just how much of our lives we have willingly put online. Credit cards, banking, bills, emails, family photos, and yes, opinions in blogs….we volunteer this to the internet ether. I love my Facebook as much as anyone (and certainly my Word Press) but even I am re-evaluating how much information I want to keep floating around for others to grab. It may be time to get back to conversations in person. visiting people in person, writing letters with good old fashioned paper and pens. (I’d say, pick up the phone and call a friend but well, you know….thats no longer going to make the cut)
So in other words, kids, if you want to say something securely and privately, the best way to do it is with your mouths, in person and behind closed doors (preferably your own). For now.
(EDIT This piece was also published in the North Bay Bohemian’s 1/22/14 issue in the Open Mic guest opinion section )