Jay Evensen: Government collects personal data ... are you surprised?

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  • Z South Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    Democracy and Secrecy CANNOT exist hand in hand. Whenever a government decides that it decides it has something to hide from it's own people, it is not longer the people's government.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 9, 2013 12:01 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    My grandmother used to refer to men talking politics as "jawing".

    A lot of "jawing" takes place, but little of substance. It's time to align yourselves. I call for the impeachment of Obama and the firing of every government employees who participated in any way with any wrong doing. Those who can't define wrong doing should be fired immediately.
    4:51 p.m. June 8, 2013


    Funny how you left out Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep, Jason Chaffetz who supported and gave him the legislation to do it.
    Must be some more of your Grandmother's "jawing".

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 9:09 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "A lot of "jawing" takes place, but little of substance. "

    Can you provide an example of jawing to make it more clear what it is?

    "It's time to align yourselves. I call for the impeachment of Obama "

    Ah there it is, thanks. That makes the term jawing perfectly clear.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    June 8, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Mike Richards

    South Jordan, Utah

    The collecting and storing of personal information of U.S. citizens has been going on long before Obama was elected or even Bush. It has been part of the DNA of all countries around the world to do this collecting, always has been and always will be.
    As much as I hate the saying "if you have done no wrong you have nothing to worry about." In this case I am afraid we just have to accept this reality.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 8, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    My grandmother used to refer to men talking politics as "jawing".

    A lot of "jawing" takes place, but little of substance. It's time to align yourselves. I call for the impeachment of Obama and the firing of every government employees who participated in any way with any wrong doing. Those who can't define wrong doing should be fired immediately.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    June 8, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    It is hard to believe that everyone is upset by this knowledge that the government is gathering our personal data, it is time to stop and remember there is no such thing as privacy. As soon as you speak over a wire or use the intrenet, your message is out there for ANYONE to capture. There is no such thing as privacy. This collecting of information by any country, company or person can not be controlled. We just need to be careful what we say or do and put into cyberspace and on airwaves.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 8, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    UtahBlueDevil. Whether Obama or anyone else calls it a war on terror or not changes nothing! Not calling it a war on terror is only foolish semantics! In the meantime, the unprovoked attacks on innocent Americans continue, don't they?

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    June 8, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    This is what exactly what we mean by a "slippery slope." If given a little power, the next administration takes a little more.

    Liberals, you may trust Obama with your life and liberty now, but will you trust the next administration to take a little more of your freedom in the name of safety and security? Will you trust the IRS with all of their new powers when the Republicans are in charge and moveon.org and the labor unions are being investigated? Should any of us trust the IRS to implement health care? They are the new Gestapo.

    No administration should take away personal freedoms protected in the bill of rights. All americans should be outraged and stop pointing fingers. It has happened on both sides.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 8, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    @mountainman.... i get your point... but consider this. A war has a beginning, middle, and end. At the end, you stand down, and start reconstruction. The war on terror never really was a war... because it never really had a beginning, and surely will never have an end.

    Killing the idea of a "war on terror" only makes sense because it is a never ending quest. There will be no end to this. Before bin Laden, there were many more who preceded him. WWI was started through a terrorist assassination. In the 1700 and 1800s, private navies (privateers) were used to hassle maritime trade. This is nothing new at all.

    This is not a discrete war so it was time to stop the game of pretending this is a distinct war. The need to be vigilant against those who would use terror against us will be generational.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    June 8, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    They need to have a warrant to do this period. And blaming this all on Bush who did start it by the way, is like me killing someone and blaming Ted Bundy for it after he has been dead for 24 years.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 8, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Everyone rings their hands. Why? We were warned of this over 200 years ago. Read the 4th amendment to the constitution. Government snooping to retain power is nothing new. Nor is the argument of the weak-kneed who justify it with a desire for "safety. "We were handed an incredible gift by our founding fathers that we have slowly squandered because we want government to take care of us and keep us safe. Despite Ben Franklin's warning we have repeatedly traded liberty for security. So what do we trade once we have given away our liberty and still do not feel secure?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 8, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Dear Mountanman, mohokat, and Mike Richards...

    I would just like to point out a few FACTS:

    1. This Domestic spying is the direct result Bush and the Republicans 'Patriot Act'.

    2. The expansion and extension - although signed by Obama - had a veto proof majority [meaning nearly ALL Republicans, and many Democrats].

    3. The Utah Congressional members who voted FOR the Patriot Act extension:

    Yes votes -
    Jason Chaffetz
    Jim Matheson
    Orrin Hatch

    No votes -
    Mike Lee
    Rob Bishop

    So - I appears Pres. Obama had more than his fair share of support from the Utah delegation.

    Be Honest, drop the party partisanship, and Show some integrity with your accusations.

    3. As I've been saying for years now,
    ...and you guys are worried about a mythical National Gun registry?
    Who needs it when you have the "Patriot Act"? peanuts by comparison.

    BTW -- Here is an example of integrity.

    As pointed on the "liberal" Huffington Post -- I am severely disappointed watching Barrack morph into G. W. Obama.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Surprised? Not really. The program is bipartisan and has reasonable judicial oversight, but if the NSA data is as secure as the IRS information that was given to the George Soros funded Propublica for Democrat campaign purposes, we are in more danger than from terrorists. Will there be more "leaks" of NSA data during a subsequent political campaign.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    June 8, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Orrin, Orrin...
    Come out , come out, wherever you are!
    Utahns have some questions for you.

  • AT Elk River, MN
    June 8, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Jay, thanks for sharing that little vignette about Orrin. I've often though that his autobiography (I'm sure he's working on it) should be titled something like, "Asleep on the Watchtower."

    @born in37. If you think you'll get security for trading freedom, you're mistaken. If you think the state will only use the evidence they gather to go after "terrorists", you're mistaken as well. There is ample evidence to support these assertions. First, you only need look at the recent IRS scandal (and Obama was just continuing the tradition of Bush, Nixon, Kennedy, et al.). If you want more evidence (and a blog that will keep you up to date) of the misdeeds of the state, regularly read Will Grigg's Pro Libertate blog. The US Federal and State police forces cause way more harm than terrorists could ever dream of committing. Read Glenn Greenwald's articles at the Guardian. Listen to Scott Horton's podcasts. These are not people who "have it out for the United States." These are people who believe in freedom and liberty and are documenting the ever increasing harm caused by the state. Be jealous of your freedom.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 8, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    Two things. First of all the expectation of privacy while appealing is an enormous myth. I'll bet anyone trolling around this thread today has all ready had to minimize one to three pop ups that are in direct response to things you have viewed or purchased on the web. Remember also that the Boston bombers were identified with department store videos. As Roland and others have said Government seeking information on you is nothing new so this has nothing to do with 9/11 it's simply all about technology.

    Secondly conservatives, why is ok to trample all over the 4th amendment? Why do you so readily give up those freedoms, make no apologies for interpreting and justifying distortions yet whoa unto him who suggests a reasonable interpretation of the second amendment that bans high capacity magazines, or authorizes background checks..don't you understand what cannot infringe on means?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 8, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    Security must never come before freedom. We must stand up to anyone, including the government, if they or it want to exchange freedom for security.

    We authorized the government to defend this nation (the States) against enemies, foreign or domestic.

    The greatest enemy to our freedom has become the government! It surveils us. It tells us that our "safety" is more important than our freedom. Every government says that.

    The Jews in Poland were told to get on a train for their safety and for their protection. They were told to enter the "showers" for their safety to rid them of lice.

    You say it would never happen in America? Open your eyes! Obama's administration uses the I.R.S. to punish opposition. It spies on the news media. It spies on the citizens and records their phone conversations, their email, their internet browsing, the location vie GPS transmitters on their cell phones. It is building a huge complex in Bluffdale to store that information.

    WAKE UP! Throw away your "security blanket" and demand freedom from the government.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 8, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    As has been evidenced here of late this government cannot be trusted. It is led by a proven liar(oh I'm sorry a hypocrite PC you know.)The IRS scandal is proof. I do not want this government to know any more about me than possible as I have no trust in it." They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    June 8, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    As I see it, the problem is not the Patriot Act. It is with those who abuse the act and the lack of oversight. A delicate balance to be sure, but the problem is there.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 8, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    Why was Senator and presidential candidate Obama staunchly against the Patriot Act but now as President Obama he told us just yesterday this spying is "necessary to keep us safe from terrorists"? This in spite of the fact he told us the war on terror is over! Which is it? Can you please get your story straight for once Mr. President?

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    June 8, 2013 5:44 a.m.

    Thank you for identifying the real administration for this assault on our personal freedoms. I knew the Terrorists won when the Patriot Act was passed and we became middle East countries, monitoring if not controlling our everyday lives. Is it necessary? I really don't know because the success or failure of these programs are behind a black curtain. Congressional Committees do claim they review the programs but I believe they are in the dark too. They are just going through the motions.
    Did you ever wonder after watching "Bourne Ultimatum " film when the head was discussing the brainwashing program Tread stone that was cancelled and replaced with another insidious one called "Black briar"? Did the lie go undetected? Did the Committee look engaged or wanting a potty break.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    June 8, 2013 4:14 a.m.

    I still remember living in Germany after WWII and how much the people hid the fact that the fact that they had the concentration camps with devices we would call weapons of mass destruction of all the people in their own country they executed. The horror those poor people suffered and all the efforts Germany did to keep that secret. They occupied their normal citizens with war and diverted their attention to crises that the regime used on a daily and nightly basis.

    Get people to thinking about themselves and the economy that was bad because of those people the Germans killed. To divide the people into groups of haves and have-nots, educated and non-educated, immigration and emigration, and even weather and natural disasters and how the government protects you from evil mother-nature.

    There are a lot more tactics now. Personal information in the 1930s was collected on one class of people. Today, with computers that gave us the scriptures and better tools for education and communication, we have a government that can indiscriminately use gathered data, such as the IRS using information for non-governmental uses, that they got caught doing. SS type? Not in USA.

  • teleste Austin, TX
    June 8, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    @ born in37

    You are exactly wrong. We need to protect our small rights to make sure our big ones are not infringed. In this case, I am afraid that our big ones are already under assault. You want to give up your privacy and freedom for your security? Fine, you are allowed to feel that way. That said, don't you dare give away or support taking away my privacy and freedom.

    The terrorists want us to live in fear so we undermine our own liberty, if we do as you say, they win.

    To paraphrase a quote often attributed to Ben Franklin... "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither."

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 7, 2013 10:06 p.m.

    During the Church hearings on government spying back in the mid 70's, it was revealed that the NSA had been gathering phone records since its inception in 1952. The story did not get much publicity back then, but apparently this has been going on for six decades now. Our technology is obviously superior today, but the principle is the same.

  • born in37 ST GEORGE, UT
    June 7, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    As a life-long Conservative, I take a serious departure from my loyal colleges on this issue. How can we argue amongst ourselves over an issue as serious as the protection of our own lives for the possible intrusion into our personal information.

    The world has changed since 9/11. There is nothing that can replace our own safety and security. Those who are trying and in many cases succeeding in killing us, either in mass or in smaller events will ever be part of our society.

    There is no way to ferret them out without having access to their evil plans. If our personal toes get stepped on, so be it. At least we, for now, are alive. The more we try to protect ourselves, the more we protect them.

    If you have something to hide. Too bad. If you are a loyal law abiding citizen, we should not fear.

    Our obligation is to pro-actively work to elect those who find a balance.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 7, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    "The Bush and Obama administrations may be honest in their intent, with 9/11 still fairly fresh in everyone’s mind. But this is such a dangerous road to travel precisely because, if it becomes engrained in our national way of life, it can easily be used for nefarious purposes some day."

    Exactly, pretty much everyone is to blame for the initial votes and reauthorizations to the point that it encompasses two presidents and most of the leaders in both parties in Congress. Only a few have stood against it like Udall, Wyden, and former Senator Feingold (only one to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001) among Democrats and the new more libertarian-minded wing of Lee, Cruz, and Paul among Republicans. If any progress is going to be made to reign in this kind of power then it's going to require people in both parties to work together for a change.