It is not physically, mathematically, or technologically possible to filter the "terrorist" containers from the "harmless" containers in a given set of containers, without filtering ALL the containers in the given set. And that is against the law.
Imagine before you a large clear container. Inside this container, there are millions of much smaller containers.
You are the Security Apparatus. It is your job to determine which of the millions of little tiny containers have only harmlessness inside them, and which of the millions of little tiny containers have what is known as terrorism inside them. You are to find and arrest only the little containers which have terrorism inside them, without opening ALL of the millions of little containers. In other words, you may not open ALL the little containers and put the harmless little containers in one pile and the terrorist containers in another pile. To do so would be against the law.
According to the law, it is illegal for you the security apparatus to open a harmless little container in search of terrorism unless you have suspicion that the little container might in fact contain terrorism, and have proven such suspicion before a judge, who has given you a warrant to open the little container to see what's inside...
Go ahead. Try to find just the terrorist containers without opening any of the harmless containers by mistake. All those millions of little containers, which are more or less alike in appearance, and none of which are marked with a helpful "H" for harmless and "T" for terrorist. Go ahead, just try to filter out only the bad little ones in the large container, without filtering everything, harmless or bad, first. Go ahead. Try it...
Nope. Sorry. You went ahead and opened all of the little containers and put them into separate piles. You did so because:
It is not physically or technologicially possible to do otherwise. Full Stop. It is not physically, mathematically, or technologically possible to filter the "terrorist" containers from the "harmless" containers in a given set of containers, without filtering ALL the containers in the given set.
To be very clear: It is not possible to filter out target data from a given set without filtering the entire set.
It is not possible to filter out the phone calls of terrorists without filtering all the phone calls.
It is not possible to filter out the emails of terrorists without filtering the emails of everybody.
It is not possible to determine which American citizen is a terrorist without holding ALL lawful Americans under suspicion.
AND THAT IS AGAINST THE LAW. AGAINST THE LAW. AGAINST THE LAW.
Do I hear some right wingers, perhaps Senator Sessions, whining right now that it's "just a database of phone numbers so what"?
FALSE. The last time I checked, American citizens do not go by phone numbers. They go by first, middle, and last names. All of the millions of first, middle, and last names in this country who own telephones and cell phones have a phone number and account number associated WITH THEIR NAMES. THE NSA WANTS THE NAMES. PHONE NUMBERS ALONE OFFER NO ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE. The NSA wants names. The NSA wants to filter phone numbers, because they can be cross checked with names and addresses. That is the only process that will give them anything of value. What? When your neighbor goes to trial for "associating with Al Qaeda", will he or she be called before the judge by their phone number and not THEIR NAME? "Defendant 123.456.7890, how do you plead"? Give me a f*cking break. This is not just a database of phone numbers.
I write this in the hope that other Americans might read this, and in the coming months and years as this nation's government and security apparatus shits on the 4th amendment and shreds the 1st amendment, and slowly destroys freedom and civil rights in this land in the name of "security", that they will not be fooled by such weak, facile, ridiculous, and TOTALLY UNLAWFUL arguments the likes of which we are being served by the damnable Administration of George W Bush II.
And, likewise, I hold equal contempt for any corportion in this country who's entire executive management suite and board of directors are somehow magically unclear on the term corporatism. Who, perhaps because they did poorly in history do not understand what that term means, and could not provide examples of it's use in sentences, such as: "Telecommunication corporations working hand in hand with a government, to help that government spy upon customers/citizens, doing so without the knowledge and consent of the customers/citizens, is a clear example of the kind of security dictatorship created by a corporatist society."
Government: "We sure as hell weren't going to tell the citizens."
Corporation: "And we weren't about to tell the customers."
Government and Corporation in unison: "So it's too bad for you little people. You see, we're twice the power."
I cannot think of clearer grounds for impeaching the executive branch than this kind of total disregard for standing law. The President and the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government VIOLATED STANDING LAWS. It could not be clearer. But sadly, I am not going to hold my breath that anything will happen. I fear the complete and total lack of any kind of serious opposition in Washington.
So, without any kind of opposition in Washington, there really isn't any kind of alternative. Impeachment, or Revolution. If there is an impeachment, it will show that there are still forces within our government that can recognize a threat, than can sense rotten food, and can mount a response and throw out the threat and vomit out the rotten food. That would offer me a tiny bit of hope in my government. But if that kind of immune response does not occur, then we're left with a phrase many have heard countless times: those that make peaceful change impossible make violent revolution inevitable. It really is true, that phrase. I can feel it these days...
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