In the midst of the controversy surrounding the surveillance of US citizens in the name of security I haven’t yet heard anybody mention the most serious issue. The issue is that a surveillance apparatus like that, in the hands of a political party willing to use it, could pretty much guarantee that party’s election supremacy effectively forever.

When a political party rises up to adore power the way that they do now, over public service, then the temptation to act out of power seeking is enormous. Add to that a bureaucratic insulation, the impenetrable like of which is getting so opaque in the name of security, and the ability to follow through on those temptations without reprisal is obvious. What power hungry force has ever not taken advantage of such an obvious advantage?

Think of what a political party could do with the knowledge of what people think, by examining everybody’s emails and texts without the need for a warrant expressing probable cause. Think of how they could form experiments to determine how they believe people will react to ‘developing’ situations. Think of how they could use those experiments to discover how best to market themselves to the public, miles ahead of the party out of power. At every turn they would be able to tell the people what they want to hear, and never be seen to get it wrong when it comes to appealing to the people. If you think incumbents throwing money at constituencies or spending enormously on political campaigns far outside of seeming reason to the salary of the office under consideration wrongly advantages a party or a candidate then what kind of crime does this have the potential to become?



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