Notations on "The World This Week"....

The past week has been quite a week  in many ways.   I was working on the latest "World Watch" for this week to focus on Turkey and Syria, the Scandal-Industrial Complex in the US and  the IMF on Greece as it admitted its' mistakes on Greece.    I have also been focused on the US Economy as there has been some troubling signs of a slowdown.  The UCLA Anderson School came out with a very pessimistic forecast on employment and job growth.   This is as Washington continues to be swept up  in the Scandal-Industrial Complex.   Barack Obama made a few audacious moves to nominate judges and to basically promote Susan Rice to be National Security Adviser.   .  I have had to preempt it with this breaking development that I find scary:  The revelation of PRISM and the continued rise of "BIG BROTHER" Government in the United States.

The story, as reported by the Guardian and the Washington Post,  has me frankly scared as I have worked on developing the "outsiders" site and other projects in the Virtual World.   I have been assessing the reporting done by the Guardian of London and the Washington Post on a program called PRISM and the revelation about the turnover of data by Verizon to the US Government on cell phone data as mandated by the US Patriot Act.    From the reporting I have reviewed, I understand that all Verizon Phone Records were turned over to the Government.

As I understand it (and I have noted the [LINK=http://tinyurl.com/mopj3bo]Guardian[/LINK] newspaper link), PRISM has been designed to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor in real time all email and social media traffic by Americans.   Based on the inteview that Glenn Greenwalrd of the Guardian just concluded with MSNBC's Lawrence O Donnell, apparently "Virtual" conversations between Americans in the United States is exempt from monitoring unless a warrant is actually issued by a FISA Court.

The PRISM program is quite worrisome.  I have been quite concerned about the sweeping program  what is worrisome is the PRISM program.   The PRISM program was revealed to the folks at the Washington Post and the Guardian by an apparent National Security Agency (NSA)  official who was appalled by the broad view of the program.  What was also quite striking was that the program was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Courts that have been authorized by the US Congress.   What I also find even more striking was how key senior Senators (including Senator Feinstein of California).  Senator Reid, the US Senate Majority Leader, noted that everyone had to take it easy.    

Some elements of this program were "refined" from the initiatives launched during the Bush Administration.    James Comey, the current nominee to be FBI Director, was Acting Attorney General during the Bush Administration when he expressed profound reservations about the program and had to face down the White House Chief of Staff and the Counsel at the time with a resignation threat unless the wireless warrant program was changed.
There are supposed "Checks and Balances" in the process based on Congressional Briefings and the supervision of the so-called FISA Courts.  But the secret nature of it should give all a moment of pause.

I have always viewed that I need to insure that a sense of self-censorship had to be practiced.    I view the work here as solemn and a responsibility.     I will be curious to see where Glenn Greenwald goes with this reporting that he has done.    

Also available @ http://www.outsiderviews.com,

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