Is Collage a Secure State?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,

deserve neither liberty nor safety.

—Benjamin Franklin

The Security State (2013). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

The Security State (2013). Digital collage created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.

By now, most Americans are aware of the extensive domestic surveillance program run by the National Security Agency (NSA). Over the course of a decade, the NSA has monitored the communications of almost everyone in the United States. Although the spying agency has claimed that in most cases, only the “metadata” (time and duration of the communication, and the numbers or Internet addresses of the sender and receiver) is being collected and analyzed, this activity is often sufficient to create a very detailed picture of most people’s private lives.

The legal basis for this invasion of privacy has been the warrants granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a secret court whose proceedings are usually open only to the government agencies seeking the warrants. Now that these surveillance programs have become public, proponents of the original legislation that created them are stating that such power is being abused in ways that exceed the scope of the law and violate the U.S. Constitution.

Art of RetroCollage agrees that this domestic spying program has seriously compromised the civil liberties of the American people. We urge every one of our readers—and their friends and relatives of voting age—to take action against these violations, by signing the petition at this link:

Daniel Ellsberg’s Petition to Congress: Investigate the NSA


Thank you very much for standing up for the civil liberties of all of us!

(All artwork, descriptions, & other text [except for quotations & links] created & copyright © by Eric Edelman. All rights reserved.)




  • Ed T. July 2, 2013, 6:19 pm

    I think the time has passed for investigating the NSA. We need legislation to restore its mission to what it used to be – which PRECLUDED SPYING ON US CITIZENS.


    • Eric Edelman July 2, 2013, 6:35 pm

      I share your sentiments, but differ about the need for investigation. Only by thorough investigation can Congress know how, what, and how much the NSA did, and effectively take steps to reform the NSA—and, for that matter, the CIA and FBI. Thanks for your comment.

  • Erika Price July 3, 2013, 5:56 am

    Very thought-provoking, Eric!

    • Eric Edelman July 3, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Thanks very much for your comment, Erika! And thanks also for visiting.

  • Daryl July 3, 2013, 7:14 am

    quite an interesting collage this week .. enjoy the 4th

    • Eric Edelman July 3, 2013, 7:34 pm

      Thanks very much, Daryl. Have a very happy and safe 4th!

  • amber whitehead July 3, 2013, 7:43 am

    Thanks for sharing your WW and hosting a linky.

  • Gattina July 3, 2013, 11:20 am

    Perfect creation to show that “Big brother is watching you” !

    • Eric Edelman July 4, 2013, 2:02 am

      Thanks very much, Gattina! I appreciate your comment, and that the theme of the collage was readable in that way. Please be vigilant in Europe, and don’t surrender your right to privacy!

  • Joyce July 3, 2013, 3:08 pm

    Didn’t realize your beautiful art is also political.

  • Sukhmandir Kaur July 3, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I don’t worry about surveillance much, figure it’s a lot of data looking for key words, I just am not that importantn nor malicious in anyway that I need checking up on lol and think its looking for the really bad guys who are planning to nuke us or worse. So kind of happy that some one is even bothering to be on the look out for random weirdos out to do harm…

    • Eric Edelman July 4, 2013, 1:53 am

      If you are an American citizen, I would strongly suggest that you interest yourself in this issue.

      It’s not just a lot of looking for keywords; it is a concerted attempt—and ultimately probably a successful one—to create 300 million detailed profiles of individuals. It’s not even so much that you (or anyone else) might not seem to be important or a threat to the government; it is the possibility of potential misuse by an individual or individuals entrusted with access to such data.

      There are now 5 million such people. If, for personal and criminal motives, they took it into their heads to harm you, your friends, or your loved ones with such information, it would be quite easy to do so. You or those you care about could be framed for a crime or suspicion of a crime regardless of your innocence. And there would be no way for you ever to find out about or redress any wrong done you in this manner.

      The NSA has not managed to build a convincing case that such surveillance has ever thwarted any terror plots; if anything, they have demonstrated that terrorists are less likely to use the part of the Internet that the rest of us use, and thus cannot be detected by such means. The majority of law-abiding people would be under perpetual watch, with their rights violated for no reason at all—and vulnerable in the way I described before.

      Believe me, this is not paranoia. It is fact. Our civil liberties are truly under attack.

      Please, consider signing this petition, and sharing it with your friends and relatives, and urging them to sign it as well. The Fourth Amendment needs the support of all of us!


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