If anyone believes this new "USA Freedom Act", just signed into law by President Obama who said, "enactment of this legislation will strengthen civil liberty safeguards and provide greater public confidence in these programs"- which prohibits the NSA from bulk collection of American's phone records whose storage now shifts to the phone companies-is somehow going to curtail the illegal surveillance activities of the "agency" is in la la land. It's all a mirage.
Oh sure, now the government must petition a special federal court to get permission to search the phone records, but if the FISA ,Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is any guide-which except in a few rare instances has always granted the government the authority to conduct surveillance on anyone it requests-the NSA will get all the phone records it requests.
No doubt, Edward Snowden's revelations of the NSA's illegal collection of the electronic communications of everyone was the catalyst for this Freedom Act "reform" measure but it won't curtail the Orwellian dystopia of government snooping on Americans.
Remember the government can monitor us through our credit card transactions, GPS in our cars, infiltrate our computers through "back doors" in the hard drives, surveillance cameras seemingly everywhere in stores, on the streets, highways, intersections and toll booths. Then there's the intrusiveness of the TSA in airports and now the public address reminder at public transportation centers, "If you see something, say something" so Americans can snoop on each other by going to the authorities.
The fact remains there has been no evidence any terrorist plot has been foiled by the intrusive surveillance of the NSA.
So why is it necessary? It isn't. But Americans have been propagandized and made fearful of some imminent threat posed by terrorists and terrorism. Thus the illusion government surveillance is necessary and bought by the public to keep them safe.
Then throw in the casual indifference expressed by many Americans who believe since they have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide they don't care about the NSA's pervasive eavesdropping even though its un-Constitutional and a violation of the 4th Amendment "against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated".
But our politicos need to appear they're doing something to protect American's constitutional rights so tweaking the NSA's more blatant excesses gives the appearance it is being brought under control.
Forget appearances; the whole surveillance apparatus needs to be dismantled and shut down. That would be a good start.