Big Brother: Watching, Listening and…
We enjoyed the excellent insights in your “The End of Privacy” issue [July 8/15]. But before packing up all our data for Big Brother, how about a little resistance? The Electronic Privacy Information Center has petitioned NSA director Keith Alexander for a public rule-making on the agency’s decision to do domestic surveillance. This is the kind of change in agency activity that triggers the public comment process required by the Administrative Procedure Act. We will be renewing our petition weekly. To sign on, go to epic.org/NSApetition or #NSApetition.
MARC ROTENBERG, president
KHALIAH BARNES, counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center
Mercer Island, Wash.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for Jonathan Schell’s unequivocal condemnation of the government’s invasion of our privacy and its complete disregard for the Constitution [“The Surveillance Net,” July 8/15].
MICHAEL J. BOND
It is astonishing that Jonathan Schell would refer to Edward Snowden as a “courageous whistleblower.” Snowden deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
BARRY H. EVENCHICK
With all due respect to Jonathan Schell, Edward Snowden is not to be celebrated unequivocally. The extent of Mr. Snowden’s attention-grabbing stunt is unknown, as the American public has no idea of what he gave/sold to whom, and what its implications may be in the longer term. The evidence, in part, that Snowden’s not smelling so hot lies in the fact that Vladimir Putin (for whom expressing disdain for the United States is a favorite pastime) compared the trouble caused by his presence in Russia to “shearing a piglet—there’s a lot of squealing and not much wool.” (Though in the end, Putin couldn’t resist another big opportunity to poke his finger in America’s eye.) Mr. Snowden may indeed be neither hero nor traitor, but he’s no Paul Revere.
FRANCES E. WOOD
In Studs Terkel’s last work, P.S., he and the lyricist Yip Harburg are talking. Studs reminds Harburg of these lines he wrote:
The truth is so top secret,
It only stands to reason,
That anyone exposing it,
Is culpable of treason.
Nukes on Our Mind
I am an avid reader of The Nation and have great respect for Mark Hertsgaard and Terry Tempest Williams. So I was disappointed in the conversation “Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet?” [July 8/15]. Neither mentioned nuclear waste, the giant and unanswerable question of nuclear power, which will last for millions of years.
“Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet?” The answer is a definite no. We need ways to reduce energy consumption—and quickly. One possible way: ration gasoline, as we did in World War II. Another possibility: reduce meat consumption. As much as 51 percent of our carbon-equivalent greenhouse gases results from the livestock industry and its support systems.