By Bruce Fein
January 6, 2015
The Washington Times

British philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon placed inmates under surveillance during every moment of time.

President Obama’s National Security Agency (NSA) is the digital equivalent of the Panopticon but spies on the entire U.S. population.

The surveillance state in America is a fact. It is no longer a suspicion.

Not after Edward Snowden’s disclosures last year. He revealed the NSA’s collection, search and retention of telephony metadata, i.e., dialing number, number dialed, call duration, and time and date of call, on every domestic or international phone call in the United States since 2006. The NSA can easily connect metadata to individual phone subscribers through the FBI’s national security letters to phone companies or a google search. The NSA collects the metadata without any suspicion that any phone user is connected to international terrorism or wrongdoing — a classic example of dragnet surveillance.

There are no exceptions for lawyer-client, doctor-patient, priest-penitent, or other confidential communications.

New numbers must be invented to describe the volume of the NSA’s files. Its facility in Buffdale, Utah, alone has 5 zetta bytes of storage capacity, or the equivalent of 250 billion DVDs.

The NSA’s unprecedented surveillance continues to this very day with no endpoint. If you are involved in but 15 phone calls per day, the NSA has retained approximately 43,000 metadata entries about you. it constantly monitors the activity of approximtley 700 million land line or cell phones.

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