There's a vast array of people coming out against the recently-rediscovered NSA spying stuff, and I am happy to see that. I commend all of these folks that are working against it, but I have to say that things like this:
"Now is the time for Congress to act," EFF attorney Mark Rumold said in a statement. "We don't need a narrow fix to one part of the PATRIOT Act; we need a full public accounting of how the United States is turning sophisticated spying technology on its own citizens, we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again."
Is just fucking laughable. Yes, we need that. Unfortunately, the American people don't care or are actively enthused that they're spied upon, because hey "I ain't got nuthin' to hide. If that there NSA thingy catches sum terrists, then it's fine by me!"
The chances of congress doing anything useful in regard to this is exactly zero. Oh, I imagine they'll do something, it just won't actually stop any of this. Remember, the last time folks noticed this was happening, the administration doing it was doing it in secret (like now), and also illegally without congressional or court oversight. What was congress' reaction then?
They made it legal. Retroactively.
Now, since a Dem is in power, it's going to be milked as a scandal by the usual suspects for a while, but the reality is that both sides want to continue to do this, and will. And again, the quaint idea that:
"we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again."
is even conceivable in today's America is just a sad, sad joke.
We live in a world where people will happily give over private details of their lives to mega-corporations like Facebook and Google (look where you're reading this!) for free. If offered a chocolate bar, people will give up even more private information, including passwords. No, really. People just don't care that they don't have any privacy anymore, and in the cases where they do care, it's mostly about things they would rather their parents/spouses/friends/social circles/etc didn't know about.
Civil libertarians and folks like the EFF quoted above are rightly worried about our continued slide into a constant surveillance state and I wish them the best. Unfortunately it will be a huge uphill battle to get anything done in the face of a completely apathetic public and a solidly entrenched culture of surveillance and secrecy in all parts of our government.