EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 28, 2013

Editorial: A look at what others are saying

The following are excerpts from editorials published in other newspapers across New England:

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But not in the way you think.

The National Security Agency seems to believe that you can tell an awful lot about an individual by the company he keeps. Or at least by downloading his contact list.

The Washington Post reported that the NSA has been collecting information from the contact lists, or address books, of people across the globe — including American citizens living inside the United States.

How widespread has the collection been? Here are the astonishing numbers from just a single day, as provided to the Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The NSA collected 444,743 email address books from Yahoo, swept up 105,068 contact lists from Microsoft’s Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail, and 22,881 from other providers.

Yes, in just one single day.

This can’t be legal, can it?

Because of the nature of the World Wide Web, information frequently passes through foreign collection points. And as the laws of our land do not apply to the electronic switches and routers in other countries, the NSA can grab your buddy list as it flits past some point outside our boundaries. And that’s just one method.

From our founding, since we fought our way out from under the British Crown, the United States has not been a land of “us” vs. “them.” We, the people, elect folks to represent us, to carry out our wishes, not to serve as overlords spying on our every move.

-- The Republican of Springfield (Mass.)

Little fallout from shutdown

Yes, congressional Republicans blundered by linking the continuation of government services and, later, the next raising of the national debt ceiling, to defunding Obamacare. One didn’t need to be a liberal Democrat to discern the GOP’s peril.

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