A federal circuit court has finally ruled NSA’s activities illegal, stating that Section 215 of the Patriot Act “cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program.” (“NSA Collection of Bulk Call Data Is Ruled Illegal.” New York Times, May 7, 2015.)
We hope that the secret collection of Americans’ phone records is on its way out.
Tamso Ma Jyotir Gamaya. Loosely translated, this verse, attributed to the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, invokes a movement towards the light of knowledge.
Let the light of public accountability shine on the NSA’s deep secrets. For this, we can thank, in no small measure, Ed Snowden, currently in exile.
Depending on your political persuasion, Snowden is either a traitor for jeopardising national security, or a hero for shining light on NSA’s shameful secret.
Apparently, the National Security Agency (NSA) had access to most of our secrets.
We know about this secret surveillance, because Ed Snowden told us.
Now Ed Snowden is in trouble for telling us NSA’s secrets.
Perhaps it is the NSA that should be in trouble.
Let’s demand transparency and open doors, so the sun can come streaming in and dispel all that is secretive and wants to remain hidden.
Let’s demand that our public institutions stop trampling on our civil rights. Let’s ask for the police force to have body cams that shed light on what “really” happened.
Let’s tell Congress to sunset the Patriot Act.
Which means telling the NSA to put Section 215 where the sun don’t shine.
Geetika Pathania Jain, Ph.D. is guest Managing Editor of India Currrents magazine. She has been keeping her doctorate a secret so people wouldn’t expect her to say clever things.