Thursday, January 16, 2014

America Bounces Back. Policing the Cops?

Americans are turning on law enforcement - with smart phones.  They're watching the watchers and they're reporting what they see.  They've got the cops on the run and it's about time.  From CBC News' Neil Macdonald:

Everywhere, it seems, Americans are openly challenging arbitrary behaviour by those in authority.

Furthermore, they are winning. Not since the late 1960s have those in authority, from heavy-handed cops to the federal operatives sifting metadata in super-secret intelligence installations, been exposed to so much disinfecting sunlight.

It's marvelous to see such courage, and further proof that whatever the world might say about America, no other democracy takes the rule of law more seriously.

...Americans seem to be rediscovering their sense of independence, and technology is the heavy weapon in their push-back.

Just as their government has used it to obliterate the notion of privacy, resourceful citizens have turned the electronic eye back on agents of the state.

The biggest and most successful crusader of all, of course, is Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose unprecedented revelations forced a White House-ordered review of intelligence gathering.

On Friday, President Barack Obama is expected to announce changes at the NSA, the largest, most powerful and most intrusive secret agency in history.

These changes clearly would not be happening were it not for Snowden, who said he acted to protect the U.S. Constitution.

In Canada we still have far too much respect for authority that is undeserved.  The Harper regime seeks nothing so much as to turn Canada into a surveillance state in which its own skulduggery is cloaked in secrecy and deceit even as it turns its intelligence agencies, CSIS and CSEC, not on foreign threats but on domestic dissent.

At some point we'll have to emulate these Americans with democratic instincts and spine.  We can't wait for our opposition leaders to 'lead.'  That's not going to happen.  It's up to you - and me.

He's a fugitive now, in Moscow, but back here in America, other Americans are acting, too, and citing the same motive.

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