Under President George W. Bush, the United States saw an undeniable expansion of government power, especially in relation to surveillance and detention. This growing government power is represented by the passage of the Patriot Act, which allows for unprecedented surveillance of American citizens and by the opening the Guantanamo Bay prison facility where detainees can be held indefinitely without trial.
Now, under President Barack Obama, we have the extension of the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay remaining open, the passage of section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial, and the recently revealed, top-secret PRISM program that can monitor major Internet communication and browsing.
It is clear now that both major political parties will act to expand their surveillance and control over those they claim to represent. For those of us committed to the ideals of privacy and freedom, this means that we cannot view the U.S. government as a tool for protecting these values; rather, it must be seen as an oppressive force to be resisted.
Salt Lake City