BOSTON (CBS) – Even the name sounds a bit menacing: PRISM.

It reminds me of SPECTRE from the old Bond movies.

Although those films seem quaint when you learn more about this program.

Interesting to note this story came out on the 64th anniversary of “1984.”

A lot of people of outraged over this. And maybe they should be, even though the administration says you have nothing to fear – the program, they say, does not intentionally target Americans.

And they justify it by saying the program is necessary to detect terror threats from around the world.

The fact here is this kind of activity is actually legal.

And it would have helped if you were outraged a few years ago.

2007 to be exact, when they were debating the Protect America Act. And again in 2008 when the FISA Amendments Act was passed, giving companies protection to give-up this kind of customer data.

And you can trace the evolution of those programs back to the Patriot Act in 2001. And even long before that when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in the late 1970s.

Did you care about those at the time? Did you call your member of Congress? Write a letter to the editor?

I’m not suggesting that authorities didn’t abuse their power in these cases. We may learn that they did.

But if the administration is telling the truth they are covered by the laws on the books.

You can follow Joe on Twitter @JoeMathieuWBZ.


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