Source: Samantha Laura Kelley

In the past few months, a mounting number of small but substantial protests have taken place within the United States. They have emerged in opposition to various legislative and governmental efforts to obtain ex-post facto permissions to engage in expansive domestic spying and employ unfettered authority of detention, search, and extraordinary rendition against U.S. citizens.

In particular, political dissidents, activists, whistleblowers, and otherwise “threatening” entities have been the focus of these initiatives, as well as the loudest voices of protest against these punitive forces. Three recent legislative initiatives have bolstered widening public objections; namely, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), and the Cyber Internet Security Protection Act (CISPA). The combination of these three efforts represents a brazen attempt at the full-on assault of civil liberties and amounts to the greatest movement towards an authoritarian, oppressive state within this country in modern times.

President Barack Obama signed the legislative specter known as the National Defense Authorization Act into law in late 2011, though he issued a rather dodgy “signing statement,” claiming that he would not employ the newly legalized powers of extraordinary rendition and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens provided for by the bill during his presidency.