Our government is intentionally keeping massive amounts of information secret from voters
“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted…the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.” —U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall
1. The government seizes and searches all Internet and text communications which enter or leave the US.
2. The government created and maintains secret backdoor access into all databases in order to search for information on US citizens.
3. The government operates a vast database which allows it to sift through millions of records on the Internet to show nearly everything a person does.
4. The government has a special court which meets in secret to authorize access for the FBI and other investigators to millions and millions of US phone, text, email and business records.
5. The government keeps top secret nearly all the decisions of the FISA court.
6. The government is fighting to keep top secret a key 2011 decision of the FISA court even after the court said it could be made public.
7. The government uses secret National Security Letters (NSL) issued by the FBI to seize tens of thousands of records.
8. The National Security head was caught not telling the truth to Congress about the surveillance of millions of US citizens.
9. The government falsely assured the US public in writing that privacy protections are significantly stronger than they actually are and senators who knew better were not allowed to disclose the truth.
10. The chief defender of spying in the House of Representatives, the chair of the oversight intelligence subcommittee, did not tell the truth or maybe did not know the truth about surveillance.
11. The House intelligence oversight committee repeatedly refused to provide basic surveillance information to elected members of the House of Representatives, Republican and Democrat.
12. The paranoia about secrecy of surveillance is so bad in the House of Representatives that an elected member of Congress was threatened for passing around copies of the Snowden disclosures which had been already printed in newspapers worldwide.
13. The Senate oversight committee refused to allow a dissenting senator to publicly discuss his objections to surveillance.