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Legitimate concerns

February 17, 2014 - Blaine Hyska
Lots of people wanted Edward Snowden’s hide when the former Central Intelligence Agency employee and National Security Agency contractor made public a vast network of government spying activities.

They called him a traitor and sought to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

The U.S. charged him with espionage and theft of government property. He took refuge in Russia, which granted him temporary asylum.

His claims, which have stirred much controversy, include a global surveillance program operated by the NSA, and disclosures that the NSA collects data on nearly every telephone call made in or to the U.S. He released documents that revealed that the U.S. was even spying on allies’ communications, which embarrassed White House officials and damaged international relations.

The reaction has been widespread in the U.S. as well.

Congress has debated laws to limit government surveillance programs, and new proposals by state officials indicate concern at the local level.

The Wisconsin Assembly has taken up a proposal that would ban police from tracking cellphone locations without a warrant.

The warrant application would have to identify the phone, the owners or whoever is possessing it, the subject of the investigation, a statement of the crime and a statement of probable cause to believe criminal activity has been, is or will be afoot and how tracking the device will yield relevant information.

These are legitimate concerns. The U.S. has always stood for freedom and liberty. You can’t have either if the government is watching your every move.



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