Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: NSA

June
18th

NSA: How many is too many?

In a recent interview, President Obama stated that the number of individual court orders issued to wiretap private citizens’ phone numbers was surprisingly small. Compared to what? The federal debt is in excess of $17 trillion, and Obama isn’t too concerned with the size of that number.

June
17th

NSA: Hitler did have early computer access

Re: “Why so willing to give up freedoms?” (letter, 6-14).

The writer asks, “What would Hitler’s SS have done with a computing program . . . ” I’d like to call his attention to the book by Edwin Black, “IBM and the Holocaust” (Three Rivers Press, 2001). The book documents IBM’s contribution to the Nazis with its Dehomag Hollerith machine, an original punch-card capability used to find and isolate the Jewish populations of Europe. The machine was leased, not sold, to Germany.

Black is the son of Polish survivors of the Holocaust. He put a lot of research into

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June
14th

NSA: Everyone else in government lies, why not the NSA?

Regarding the controversy about the NSA data mining phone records, there are those in government and their apologists who tell us, no big deal, the government is only interested in calculating patterns, it won’t monitor the contents of the calls.

And 15-year-old boys read Playboy for the articles. Promise.

We’re asked to have trust in the government, but based on what? Recently, the president, his secretary of state, his attorney general, his ambassador to the United Nations and several high-ranking officers of the IRS, a division of the Department of Treasury, have all been caught lying to the American public.

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June
14th

NSA: Put this scandal into some perspective

NSA scandal? Let’s put it in perspective. I’m not aware of any law enforcement, or for that matter, any other investigative agency, workplace or just social gathering where you cannot expect to receive on a frequent basis some derogatory information on another member of your community.

It’s just a fact of life, and the electronic/technology industry has just enhanced how it gets put out there for all to dwell on. Gossip has been with us forever. However, the persona of a gossip is to offer without remorse what they know, and what they construct to excite the conversation and give

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June
13th

NSA: What price are we willing to pay?

Gen. Keith Alexander testified to Congress that the Prism program has helped foil dozens of terrorist attacks on the U.S. I do not know if this is true or not. To me it really does not matter if it was one or dozens. The issue I haven’t heard debated is just how high a casualty rate we as a society are willing to accept in terrorist attacks.

It seems to me we are caught between a rock and a hard place. If we ban security programs such as Prism in order to secure our right to privacy, then the chances

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June
13th

NSA: Why are we so willing to give up our freedom?

I have some questions for those who embrace, approve, accept or simply don’t care about the NSA computer spying program.

What would Hitler’s SS have done with a computing program to the Jews, Gypsies and those who were identified as degenerates by the Nazi state?

What would the U.S. government have done with a computing program to the Japanese-Americans at the beginning of World War II?

What would the U.S. government have done with a computing program to Martin Luther King and his immediate family, friends and associates during the civil rights struggle?

What will the U.S. government do to

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June
13th

NSA: How do we know attacks have been prevented?

The statement of Gen. Keith Alexander to Congress claiming that “dozens of terrorist attacks” have been prevented by the National Security Agency’s overly broad massive secret surveillance programs (TNT, 6-13) reminds me of the story of a naked man beating a base drum who was arrested.

When this man appeared before the judge, he claimed he was preventing wild elephant attacks by his actions. The judge said, “Why, there aren’t any wild elephants in all of North America!” And the man proclaimed, “I’m doing a really fine job, aren’t I?”

June
12th

NSA: Why shouldn’t our government fight back?

In the Nixon era, I may have been outraged to learn that my government was collecting data from my personal correspondence. However, in the post 9/11 era, with home-grown terrorists threatening deadly violence in movie theaters and on college campuses, I welcome whatever means my government uses to keep me and my family safe.

If my government needs to sift through my Face-time conversations with my granddaughter or monitor my cell phone calls to my husband traveling for business, so be it.

This is no longer a Spy-vs.-Spy universe. Real threats to our safety are using sophisticated computer algorithms to

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