Turns out we have even less digital privacy than we thought, and some prominent Democrats aren't happy about it.
As PolicyMic pundit Urvi Nagrani writes, "If you reconsidered using Verizon after discovering that the NSA was collecting your phone records, you should probably turn your computer off now. In another stunning development, the Guardian reported Thursday about an NSA program called PRISM, which has been monitoring nine large tech companies and thus most likely your email."
Here are 10 Democratic congressman, and one former vice president who are speaking out against their president.
1. Vice President Al Gore:
"In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?"
2. Rep. Elijah Cummings:
"The president said that I must return to my authentic self. And I think the president needs to go back and read his own speeches."
3. Rep. Peter DeFazio:
"I'm very concerned that this is basically a continuation of the policies of the Bush administration and the abuses of the Patriot Act. I'd like to see better out of this administration."
4. Rep. Raul Grijalva:
"I think the fact they had an opportunity to look clear eyed at a policy that was there since 2006 and change it and didn't, it’s disappointing ... That's not a question of disloyalty. I don't think it's even a question of not support. We're talking about fundamental value issues here that a lot of us feel we need to protect."
5. Sen. Jeff Merkley:
"This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans' privacy. I have had significant concerns about the intelligence community over-collecting information about Americans' telephone calls, emails and other records."
6. Sen. Bernie Sanders:
"The United States should not be accumulating phone records on tens of millions of innocent Americans. That is not what democracy is about. That is not what freedom is about."
*Note that Sen. Sanders is not formally a Democrat, but does caucus with the Democratic Party.
7. Sen. Jon Tester:
"Civil liberties are incredibly important in this country and to have a FISA court basically give a perpetual court order of telephone records … I think it goes against what this country is founded on."
8. Reps. John Conyers, Jerry Nadler, and Bobby Scott:
"We believe this type of program is far too broad and is inconsistent with our nation's founding principles. We cannot defeat terrorism by compromising our commitment to our civil rights and liberties."