“Big Brother isn’t coming. He’s already here.”
That is the warning issued in an advertisement in today’s New York Times.
The advertisement was taken out by a broad coalition of individuals, including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Ralph Neas of People for the American Way, Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen, John Passacantando of Greenpeace, Princeton University professor Cornel West, Privacy Times editor Evan Hendricks, actors Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and Ed Asner, Brent Blackwelder of Friends of the Earth, Michael Pertschuk, former chair of the Federal Trade Commission, and Nicholas Johnson, former member of the Federal Communications Commission.
The ad appears on page A9 of the national edition of today’s New York Times. It is accessible on the web at http://www.citizenworks.org/issues/latest_news/bigbrother.pdf.
The ad warns of existing incursions on civil liberties and privacy rights in the period since September 11. “Repeatedly,” it says, “the Bush administration has demonstrated its contempt for open courts and oversight of its performance by Congress. Now the Bill of Rights is being shredded. Protections of free speech, privacy, assembly and fair trial are being sacrificed — under the guise of national security.”
“You better believe (Big Brother) is watching you,” the ad says:
— Reading Your Medical Records
— Scrutinizing Your Credit Card Bills
— Searching Your Home or Business Without Telling You
— Patrolling Your Internet Use
— Wiretapping Your Phone
— Spying on You and Your House of Worship
— Examining Your Travel Records
— Inspecting Your Bookstore Purchases
— Snooping on Your Library Records
— Monitoring Your Political Activities
The ad urges readers to contribute to Stop the Snooping, a project which will seek to mobilize concerned citizens to protect civil liberties and stop invasion of privacy rights. Tax deductible contributions may be sent to: Stop the Snooping, P.O. Box 19367, Washington, D.C. 20036.