The bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to address the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records mentions halting the collection of “to and from” data from American landlines [“House passes curbs on NSA phone surveillance,” Politics, May 22]. Why the heck are we still arguing about landlines?
Most Americans stopped relying on landlines years ago. The real goldmines to the U.S. government are the emails, search histories and messages collected by Facebook and Google every day. These companies, by the way, oppose the House bill, fearing the possibility of bulk collection of the Internet data they maintain.
The removal of an independent public advocate from an earlier version of the bill, who would have observed the NSA in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, makes the entire legislative process moot. The NSA will (again) lack any sort of oversight.
Unfortunately, the first legislative response to Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing seems to be a facade. The American public shouldn’t expect the government to stop spying on innocent citizens anytime soon.
Emily Thurston, Seattle