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… I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.
When you think of surveillance state, what do you think of ?
Student One: North Korea.
Student Two: Because the government tracks their citizens. They keep a tight control over them. They can’t go anywhere, do anything that the government doesn’t know about.
Anyone else? When you think of surveillance state?
Student Three: East Germany, when it was East Germany.
You ever wonder how Nazi Germany knew where all the Jews were to round them up?
Student Four: I never thought about that.
Student Five: A lot of Jews lived in the same neighborhoods.
Student Six: Their place of worship.
Student Seven: Birth Certificates.
Student Eight: Facial features?
What else? Anyone think of any other Surveillance state?
Student Nine: Syria.
Yes. Anyone think of the US as a surveillance state?
Students Ten, Eleven and Twelve raise their hands.
Okay. Where are US citizens under surveillance at?
Student Thirteen: Airports.
Right. At airports.
Student Fourteen: At the ATM machines. They have video cams there.
Right. They have video cams there. Anywhere else?
Student Fifteen: Anywhere you use your debit card actually. They can track your comings and goiong through your debit card.
Student Sixteen: They can track you through your iPhone.
Right. They can track you through your iPhone.
Student Seventeen: If your laptop has a camera on it, they can track you through that.
Yes. Yes, they can. Anything else? Any other places you are under surveillance?
Student Eighteen: There are video cams everywhere.
Student Nineteen: Drones. Drones can track you.
Student Twenty: Satellite radio. If you have that in your car.
Student Twenty-One: GPS.
Student Twenty-Two: Or your iPhone. They can track your car through your iPhone.
When are you not being tracked?
Student Five: When you go to the bathroom.
Student Eleven: Not if you take your iPhone to the bathroom.
And you all take your iPhones into the bathroom. So how is it you are not living in a Surveillance state?
Student whose number I don’t remember: I don’t care if they spy on me. I’m not doing anything wrong.
But don’t you see that’s what’s wrong with this sort of thinking. This isn’t about what you are doing wrong — it’s about what our government is doing wrong. The very reason our Constitution was written the way it was — to give the power to the people. To keep government from overreaching. What did Snowden say his biggest fear is?
Student: That we won’t do anything about the invasion of our privacy, our rights.