The U.S. government needs to care not only for the rights of its own citizens, but all people, and should do so in a manner the U.S. government expects itself to be treated by others. This should be done in order to serve the self-interests of the U.S. Government. Only then can authentic trust begin to potentially grow.
As an authoritarian national surveillance state that is running unconstitutional and immoral surveillance programs both domestically and internationally, the people need to decide how the technology known as U.S. governance needs to operate based on what has been learned about its true nature. Our collective information is truly not secure from theft and illicit use and it is apparent the U.S. government is one of the largest culprits. There are technological answers to the digital protections that would enable legal protections of rights and information, but the political fortitude necessary to do it is yet to be known.
I find it ironic that U.S. politicians are ok with spying on their own citizens and the general populaces of foreign countries at will. When it became known the NSA also spied on the government leaders of even its closest allies, it is now widely agreed by the political class that reforms need to occur, because allegedly the U.S. President and the intelligence oversight committee didn’t know about some of these programs that spied on the leaders of U.S. allies.
“What we fear is a creature of great cunning and energy, quite devoid of any moral or mammalian scruple. This is perhaps the exact description of our very own species in time of war or scarcity.”
The U.S. government cannot now be pro reforms to its national surveillance apparatus and still consider Edward Snowden a criminal. For trust to find fertile ground and grow again, how the U.S. treats the person/people who took the risk of making these programs known publicly is critical in my opinion. The only person who seems to know exactly what the U.S. national surveillance apparatus is doing, is also the person who can at the moment no longer set foot on U.S. soil without fear of imprisonment or worse. For President Obama to suggest these reforms and public debate would have happened even in the absence of the revelations from Edward Snowden is disingenuous, insulting, and absent of truth which gets to the heart of the true problem.
For far too long, the leadership positions within the U.S. government have been filled with politicians who are devoid of the ability to lead. The U.S. government needs leaders in its political positions who have the intestinal fortitude to make the hard decisions both in the development of the rule of law and its implementation based on the core principles of the Constitution. Only then can trust and credibility begin to be restored, because it must first be earned and the people must seize it for themselves. Governance is a human made technology and should change when the current status quo no longer serves the best interests of humanity.