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Letter

Use of technology in U.S. an issue

To the editor:

The Wall Street Journal for June 10, 2013, says the following in its lead article, “Technology Emboldened NSA”:

“…At a 2009 conference on so-called cloud computing, an NSA official said the agency was developing a new system by linking its various databases and using…software to analyze them, according to comments reported by the trade publication InformationWeek.

“The system would hold ‘essentially every kind of data there is….The object is to do things that were essentially impossible before.’”

In a society where long-term unemployment is a large and growing problem, and in a society where the U.S. Congress is as we speak discussing serious cuts to food stamp and other poverty programs, our government is spending “serious money” to employ tens of thousands of young persons, many of them high school dropouts or others with minimal formal education but with computer abilities, rather than on creating jobs rebuilding decayed American infrastructure for those living in poverty or facing foreclosure.

wIs it any wonder that many of our “technology geeks,” hired to handle floods of information gathered by the government, suffer trauma when they pause to think about what they are doing? Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are but representatives of what must be a huge and growing problem for the NSA, the Defense Advanced Research Agency, and our expanding security establishment. Young persons based in the U.S. but firing drone missiles along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border have been reported to be having difficulties with what they are doing when they have time to think about it, as did Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and there must be plenty of other such cases.

Our national government has created an impossible situation, and one that will implode of its own weight unless and until American voters make their voices heard. We are indeed in Big Brother territory, and we the voters had better be asking questions of our representatives, and the sooner the better.

Russell Bastedo,

Dublin

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