Alan Grayson has written an amendment that he will soon introduce in the House of Representatives that deals with the relentless and endless NSA spying on Americans. He’s calling it the “Mind Your Own Business” Act — and he’s looking for your support. Yes, this is a petition, but yes, it will also be a bill before the House.
First, the petition. In order to raise a fuss in Congress about NSA spying on Americans, we have to raise a fuss in the country. There are lots of ways to do this, but a very practical way is to agitate for an actual bill before Congress that our representatives will then have to vote on. That is, raise a fuss in the country that puts Congress on the line.
So here’s the petition to get support for a bill before the House. Click this link or the image below to go to the petition page:
Do you agree? If so, help out. It’s pretty easy to take one step, and lots of people taking one step is what we need.
The Act itself
Like a lot of Grayson’s legislation, the Act itself is pretty simple.
Seems clear and to the point, don’t you think?
There’s a lot being written about what the NSA has apparently been caught doing. Chris Hayes has excellent segments on it; Marcy Wheeler is doing wonderful analysis; and our own Myrddin has his own good piece (do click; it’s knowledgeable and clear).
But there’s an easy and obvious bottom line. The NSA believes that in order to do its job, it has to have access to all data. Period. All data. It got stopped (ostensibly) in the 1970s from attempting to do that, but after 9/11 it got permission to restart.
Remember, the goal is all data. So the story we get from Edward Snowden is that the NSA, as part of its All Data mission, has reportedly stuck an exit pipe deep in the servers of Microsoft, Facebook, Google (yes, Google, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”), Yahoo and others you deal with daily (that’s you, friendly fake-hipster Apple) — and they’re vacuuming up, to the best they can … All Data. This is disputed, but if this attempt is more limited than the reports, they’re still trying. They want it all to the extent they can get it.
The NSA’s not looking at All Data though, just Some Data. You can’t look at All Data. But they’re storing All Data forever; that’s what that Utah Data Farm is for. That way, when someone (you? your child?) gets onto someone’s radar as a suspect — or as someone who is two degrees of separation from a suspect — they can go back through All Data looking for something that incriminates you (or your child).
Or worse, if Doctor Evil ever comes to the White House, s/he will tell the NSA to go back to All Data and look for ways to blackmail opponents (as evil Dick Nixon seems to have attempted) — or in the very-worst-case world, to kill them. (Think political assassination has never reached these shores? Think it can’t? Fine, but stay off of small planes, just in case … and yes, I’m half-joking.)
In other words, with the power to lock down opposition with access to total surveillance, plus a citizenry fully comfortable with a militarized public-private police force guarding your compliance — think city cops, private cops and Occupy — you’ve now got all your dictatorial ducks in a row. NSA collecting All Data is one of those ducks.
Disrupt the NSA; support the Mind Your Own Business Act
It’s a pain to have to keep acting up to take back power, but there it is. Our ancestors said the same about food — it’s a pain to have to keep going out to find it. But there it is.
The good news for you — this world offers a lot of ways to act against power, and this is one of the easiest. Support Grayson’s pushback bill against the NSA and let’s see if we can force Congress to choose a side — Fourth Amendment privacy, or collection of All Data — in a rather public way.
Who know? Could work. We won’t now till we try, right?
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius