Via Common Dreams, political cartoonist Ted Rall foresaw exactly where we would be today in a piece written in 2006:
Several months ago employees of Verizon, the company that enjoys a monopoly on local telephone service where I live, confirmed that my telephone has been tapped by the government.
“I don’t mind that Bush is listening to my calls,” I told the security department. “It’s not like I’m calling al Qaeda. And if they called me, I wouldn’t be able to hear them because of the noise on the line.”
Most Americans feel the same as me. We’re not doing anything wrong, so why should we care if the government knows when we’re stuck on hold? If losing our privacy can prevent another 9/11, isn’t it worth it?
No. First and foremost, domestic spying is not an anti-terrorism program. The CIA estimates that there are between 2,000 and 10,000 al Qaeda members worldwide.