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Consumers Demand Privacy, Companies Deliver

Federal bureaucrats leading the surveillance-state have expressed displeasure at recent privacy enhancements now available to consumers, but this development indicates that people really do value their privacy and companies are stepping up to deliver.

This bodes well for those hoping to rein in the surveillance-state.

FBI Director James Comey is particularly perturbed by the revelation from Google and Apple that they are adding additional privacy safeguards to their products to make it more difficult for the feds to crack them. For instance, Apple announced earlier this month that it will no longer be physically capable of extracting information from an iPhone. That means even if law enforcement served the company with a warrant, it will not be able to deliver the desired information.

According to a Huffington Post report, Comey was not pleased.

I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I also believe that no one in this country is beyond the law… What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.

Comey should know a thing or two about operating beyond the law considering he works for an agency that regularly engages in unconstitutional, warrantless invasions of privacy. If we have to worry about anyone being above the law, it’s the federal bureaucrats in charge of the surveillance-state.

The mindset of the FBI director is typical of the political class in D.C. The Constitution and the rights of the people do not matter nearly as much as the “mission.” The fact that they claim to act for the ‘public good,’ does not excuse their disregard of the rule of law. We all know from Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks that malevolent behavior is afoot, as evidenced by its creepy Orwellian “Collect it All, Process it All, Exploit it All, Partner it All, Sniff it All and Know it All” motto.

The good news is that despite their power, government agencies cannot overcome consumer demand – and the people apparently crave privacy. The fact that corporations are now marketing products with enhanced privacy features bears this out. Public perception has changed after more than a year of revelations detailing almost ubiquitous spying. They appear less willing to simply accept that the government can access virtually all of their electronic communications. Apple and Google would not make this move unless they know huge consumer demand for such products exist. That means there is a large group of people who clearly understand the dangers to their privacy posed by the surveillance-state.

More good news: these people can be mobilized for political action as well.

This fact gives us an unprecedented opportunity to push for concrete reforms. We must look to the state-level for these reforms because the feds are obviously never going to get their own act in order. Our privacy is not their concern. They never will hold themselves accountable, so we must force their hand. We have the potential to do just that because grassroots pressure can still drive change at the state level. By mobilizing Americans and tapping into their apparent desire to protect their privacy, we can begin to pressure the NSA and other agencies toward reform.

OffNow has drafted ready-made model legislation that tackles the surveillance state far away from the corrupt Washington D.C. establishment. These measures chip away at the power of the NSA and other unconstitutional federal bureaucracies by removing the material support and compliance that they need from the states to function. Without our help, it becomes far more difficult for our rights to be habitually violated. We should not make it easy for the NSA to commit its on-going crime spree.

Join us, and help us to slow down and eventually end limitless spying once and for all.

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