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life imitating art imitating life

December 27, 2012

Today the Senate debated (and I use that term loosely) a number of amendments to the FISA Amendment Act aimed at increasing transparency and public oversight, shooting down every single one.

Coincidentally, I just started watching the 2008 BBC mini-series The Last Enemy, a political drama that centres around a man who returns to London from China after the death of his brother and “enters a society now obsessed with surveillance,” eventually finding himself in the midst of an international conspiracy and the target of the “omnipresent and menacing eye of the government” he’s been hired to sell to the public and using on the side to dig into his brother’s death.

The underlying theme of security vs. privacy not only reminds me of Glenn Greenwald’s relatively recent speech, “How America’s Surveillance State Breeds Conformity and Fear,” but relates to today’s debate on the FISA Amendment Act, particularly Sen. Feinstein’s vociferous defense of the secretive act and the Senate’s clear opposition to any additional oversight and privacy safeguards.

From that perspective, it kind of strikes me as an Orwellian version of life imitating art imitating life, albeit unintentionally.

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