Former DHS Official Says Boston Bombing Proves ACLU & EFF Are Wrong About Surveillance And CISPA
from the call-up-OED:-'crass'-needs-to-be-redefined dept
There have been a lot of kneejerk reactions to the Boston Marathon bombing. Between certain politicians and pundits quickly turning the horrific event into makeshift planks to support their pet legislation/conspiracy theories and the New York Post cranking out reports so "exclusive" they weren't even true, the internet and airwaves have been filled with the sort of stupidity we've sadly come to expect when tragedy strikes.
Then something comes along that swaggers right up to you and punches you in the face with its breathtaking imbecility. This is Stewart Baker's "contribution" to the national discussion, filed over at the otherwise esteemed Volokh Conspiracy under the heading "Fool Me Once..."
When people say, "The stupid! It burns!" they're usually referring to garden variety stupidity or the occasional bit of advanced moronics that momentarily derails entire comment threads. This thing that Baker has cobbled together out of the stuff he likes best -- surveillance and more surveillance -- towers over other moments of burning stupid like a Wicker Man made entirely from straw. The stupid here doesn't simply burn. It immolates the rational person's mind, replacing coherent arguments with searing, nightmarish pain that reduces responses to stunted internet-native declarations like "wat."
Baker wants us to believe that the EFF and the ACLU are wrong... in both instances. What it actually shows is the EFF/ACLU's consistency on these issues. Unless Baker has heard otherwise, the EFF and ACLU are still against widespread surveillance (along with CISPA). This event, as terrible as it was, doesn't change that stance.
Only someone like Baker, a former DHS "company man" and freelance contributor to the underdeveloped "TSA porn" genre, would take the stance that the FBI's release of camera footage capturing the two bombing suspects' images justifies the massive amount of surveillance many in this country are subjected to in nearly every public space. (His take conveniently ignores the fact that the stills posted by the FBI appear to have been captured by cameras deployed by private businesses.)
Only someone who seems to detest the actions of privacy advocates would insinuate through a disingenuous headline ("What they said about street cameras before the bombing") that the EFF and ACLU would change their views on surveillance after an event like this. They won't. Only fair-weather friends of Constitutional rights and civil liberties change their stances after a tragedy like this. (See also: EVERYTHING THE GOVERNMENT HAS ENACTED SINCE SEPT. 11, 2001 THAT DEALS WITH NATIONAL "SAFETY" OR "SECURITY.")
And only someone who knows CISPA is a purposely flawed bill aimed at giving the government even more control and surveillance powers would have the gall to cheapen this tragedy by attempting to equate the two using a bullshit "conclusion" hastily MS Painted together and dropped unceremoniously into the blogosphere like a flaming bag of foul-smelling rhetoric on the doormat.
One question, though, Stewart, tied into Boston Marathon as you've done with yours: all of this surveillance, all these increased security measures, all this warrantless wiretapping, all these pat downs and scans at the airport, all of these drones flying all over the world, all these double-secret interpretations of super-secret laws, all of these redacted FOIA responses, all of this Cyber Pearl Harbor hand wringing, all of encroachment of the government into every aspect of American existence?
What did it prevent?