http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&#h Some of you will argue that such surveillance is necessary in order to keep us safe. Some of you will argue it is an unnecessary invasion of privacy. The most significant thing is that many of us, I think, will not be surprised that this has, and will continue to be happening. We've known it was happening. But this is a good opportunity to discuss the issue. Because it should be discussed! It needs to be. http://www.salon.com/2013/06/09/revealed_boundless_informant_nsas_powerful_datamining_tool/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/us-surveillance-expanded-obama-hayden During Bush's presidency there was plenty of outrage over his policies. I feel that during Obama's time in office the public reaction has not reached the same level of outrage. The opposition and resistance doesn't seem to be as vocal. This forum is a good example. Are motorcyclists really this indifferent to such political and social issues that no one has posted a thread on these leaks, even though the news has been circulating for days now? Or is this a broader issue, in that we have all, as a society, become accustomed to this sort of information and we have grown apathetic to such releases of information? The argument that people do not care about such erosions of privacy because they wish to feel safer isn't good enough, in my opinion. It isn't based on a solid premise. Who says it will make you safer? Would you still trade your privacy if the government couldn't accomplish what you were told it would in return? http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/07/opinion/harris-data-mining-privacy/index.html?hpt=hp_c2 SBS aired a program last night that asks similar questions. America's intelligence and counterterrorism efforts seem to have become an industry worth hundreds of billions. What have they achieved and do they work? The program spends most of its attention on uncovering what it can on this highly secretive area of government, but importantly it also briefly highlights how a number of recent terrorist attacks have relied on civilians to stop them or catch the perpetrators. Every day people in the right place at the right/wrong time. Not a multi-billion dollar industry that increasingly relies on private firms. It is relevant to this discussion. You can watch it here:http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/31403587879/Top-Secret-America-Boston-Bombings And we have to touch on Obama's use of drones. I am mainly focusing on the surveillance story because that is the breakiing news atm. Drone attacks are another, important part of "Obama's legacy". Feel free to post more info and expand on this, everyone. http://www.salon.com/2013/06/09/obamas_dirty_wars_and_a_soiled_presidency/ The sorts of issues all these things bring up go beyond just Obama and the government power. People's opinion on Obama and what he represents to them, people's biases and partisan politics create the dangerous situation in which provide blind support. This is nothing new, it may not even be anything particularly new to liberal supporters, but perhaps it explains why there is less opposition. And how does this shape the future? The following article discusses this here: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/07/america_the_passive/ For me, the most disturbing question to come from all this is, if Obama, the man hailed as one who will bring about change and do away with everything people disliked about the Bush administration, if he can take over and instead take the largely unseen, secretive elements of this "war" and expand them so much, while applying them how he and the government sees fit, and if he can do it without much opposition because of the way he is regarded, what does the future hold? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? It's fitting to finish off with these words from Nobel Committee when they gave Obama the peace prize in 2009, which today seem like some sort of sarcastic joke: "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."