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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Federal government collecting phone, email records

No justification

The past week has brought disturbing revelations of the federal government’s collection of many Americans’ phone, email, credit-card, Internet browsing and instant-messaging data. [“Internet secretly tracked, too,” page one, June 7.]

The source of this insight, a National Security Agency (NSA) systems administrator, has explained a motivation we can all agree on: “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

The NSA defends this indiscriminate mass surveillance as legal, but even if you have nothing to hide there is no justification for this outrageous violation of the 4th Amendment’s protections. It’s also questionable whether this surveillance has had any benefit; recall what happened at the Boston Marathon without warning.

This is not a partisan issue. This affects anyone who has called a friend or sent an email or used a credit card. There is already a growing movement, Restore the Fourth, to organize nationwide protests and demand a restoration of privacy protections. Tell your legislators in Olympia and Washington, D.C., to support the repeal of the Patriot Act’s surveillance provisions and FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).

Scott Bonjukian, Port Orchard

Missing the mail

If ever there were an argument to retain the United States Postal Service, I think we may have found it.

Don’t want the government to pry into your correspondence? Write it down on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and mail it.

Forty-six cents is a small price to pay for the opportunity to communicate your thoughts without government interception.

Joanne S. Hudson, Seattle

Offended by cartoon

I was shocked at the ghoulish depiction of our president as Big Brother in the Saturday Seattle Times [Opinion, June 8]. I might have expected such an offensive cartoon in some media but not in The Times.

Balancing security and privacy is certainly a challenge, but by any reasonable measure, Obama has done a pretty good job of it.

I wonder what kind of cartoon The Times would have run had there been a repeat of the September 11, 2001, attack.

Ted Yellman, Bellevue

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