In the wake of the recent news revealing the extent of the NSA’s level of citizen surveillance through supernetworks like PRISM, Chris speaks this week with Mark Skousen, former-CIA-agent turned founder-of-FreedomFest, one of the countries largest “gatherings of free minds.”
Mark argues that in this case, technology has advanced at a far faster pace than our culture’s ability to understand how to use it effectively, responsibly, and how to regulate it:
I think its like the Pentagon papers back in the early 1970s, where we definitely need to tell government You’ve overstepped your bounds. I mean, look, I worked for the CIA, I understand the need for secrecy, I understand the need for intelligence, especially against foreign threats. But there are plenty of ways to do this without this wholesale invasion of everybody’s emails and telephone records. You don’t have to use those methods, and in many cases we haven’t used those methods, and yet we’ve kept so many terrorists plots from being carried out. I’ve talked to a number of my CIA people, and they have all kinds of means and methods of finding these things out that are pinpointed without violating the 4th Amendment, the right to privacy, for the ordinary U.S. citizen.
And while the PRISM leak is raising an important debate about where to draw to draw the line between security and civil liberty, Mark doesn’t feel the world has changed enough to depart from where the divide has been over past generations. And without hard constraints agitated for by the populace, our security apparatus will continue to expand and invade:
I don’t think it’s so much that the world is more dangerous; it’s just that the technology has advanced so rapidly that we’re now facing a situation where with these unmanned drones that can be the size of a mosquito and are taking pictures. We have GPS; they’re considering a rule to mandate that it be in every car, every cell phone, so we know where you are at all times. The capability of the NSA to collect all of this data, this is all new technology — it’s kind of like new military weapons; you always want to try them out.
The invasion of privacy is growing faster in technology than the privacy protectors. So I think that’s really what’s going on: They’re just using this as a ruse and excuse to use this new technology.
As mentioned, Mark is also the founder of FreedomFest. Within the podcast, Chris commits to posting a link to a brief video about the event.