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John Stossel: "I don't mind NSA spying."

Stossel Admits To O’Reilly He’s Okay With NSA Snooping: Libertarians Calling Me ‘Traitor’

Libertarian pundit John Stossel admitted to Bill O’Reilly tonight that he can’t join in the libertarian outrage over the NSA surveilling Americans’ private communications because it just doesn’t bother him that much. He argued that privacy is already being violated en masse by large companies like Google and Facebook. O’Reilly challenged him, saying that there should be cause for concern due to potential government abuse like in the case of the IRS.

Stossel told O’Reilly, “My privacy is already blown… Amazon knows, Facebook knows all kinds of things about me.” O’Reilly admitted he’s confused by all this tech stuff, saying that while he can understand websites like his own being able to track who pops on and goes to certain pages, he can’t imagine how these sites are tracking all sorts of user information.

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Amazon and Facebook are

Amazon and Facebook are private companies that I can voluntarily give my private info to, if I so choose. Personally, I choose to NOT give personal info to any entity that doesn't need it. Stossel doesn't see a difference between that and the shadowy NSA data collection activities? I smell a rat and its the same one Judge Nap smells. Thats a mighty big rat. I'm actually a little stunned at Stossel at the moment.

Difference In Perspective

I believe the problem is he takes this information pertaining to himself. As a Journalist, any personal information such as his Address, Contact Information, Affiliates, and Interests are already available for the public to see.

He does not fear the government in this area because he believes he already has everything out on the table(most likely because he believes in transparency). I do not hear him saying other people shouldn't worry about it, I think he's simply making the argument that HE is not worried about it.

The only point we should make to him is to understand that not everyone is willing to lay it all out on the table, as he has. And for him to be a public figure, he should care about how other people perceive the issue as well.

I can understand why he's not worried for himself. More than likely, he strives to be transparent in his own life for his viewers. Obviously a virtue we cannot trust the government to have, which is why so many see his lack of caring as such an offense.

The Road to Prosperity begins with seeking wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the world around you. Peace can not be attained by those who close their minds to the people around them and their choices in living.

I watch his show

weekly and this is really unlike him. I can't imagine that this is his real opinion. I just refuse to believe it.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

It is the reply of someone who has given up.

Stossel probably thinks the genie is out of the bottle and nothing can be done to stop it or its growth.

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

James 1:8

Stossel always did puzzle me. He strikes me as the CATO/ReasonMag libertarian type.

You know, the big(L) Party hack who neither understands nor believes in classic, Jeffersonian liberalism but wants to beat the libertarian drum every time the issue of sex or the consequences thereof comes up.

Notice how he at first claimed he didn't have a problem with the NSA spying because his life is already an open book. He then showed his true colors by asking O'Reilly "what if your a terrorist" when O'Reilly said he objects.

Stossel believes that Big Brother is just there trying to look out for him. Idiot!!!

stossels hittin the

Quaaludes again

My gods WTF was that?

Stossel usually takes the time to at least half understand an issue before opening up his yap but I couldn't get to the end. I couldn't listen to either one of them.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

Its a sad day when the token

Its a sad day when the token authoritarian calls out the token libertarian on an important libertarian principle such as privacy and the 4th amendment.

Stossel called to the red carpet?

Say it aint so John?

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I know major allies who fund them" Gen. Dempsey referring to ISIS

I dislike the attempt to frame this as a "libertarian" issue

It's not. It's an issue of the basic human right to privacy that we all agreed on when we were deciding what kind of country we wanted to be. There is outrage from the far left, the far right and everywhere in between.

It seems like they're trying to equate being against the NSA's broad overreach with being "libertarian", a term they often use as a euphemistic pejorative synonymous with "kook", "isolationist", "conspiracy theorist", and "truther".

Now is the time when we will see people's true colors. We are at the end game.

Stossel Not a Traitor

Johns Stossel is not a traitor for expressing his views. Stossel is no more a traitor than Edward Snowden. Stossel has simply exercised his right to free speech by expressing his opinion. I disagree with his opinion, but my disagreement doesn't make Mr. Stossel a traitor.

Being a traitor involves some action greater than simple speech. It's under that category that many people have called Snowden a traitor, because he committed an action beyond speech. He is not of course, because his action made the government more transparent, and as Ron Paul has said, Obama should thank Snowden for carrying out his campaign promise for making the government more transparent.

Only actions can be deemed treasonous. Speech cannot be deemed treasonous. Speech is covered under the First Amendment. Actions are not.

But he even says at 1:30 that

But he even says at 1:30 that he can choose not to use Google and Facebook and that it's much more dangerous for the government to have this info. I think he gets the issue but is, at this point, desensitized by all of the big government. We can all rally behind Snowden now that this is a big headline, but all of us deep down knew that this was happening. Stossel might just be making the point that the amount of attention this is getting does not correlate to his concern compared to other issues. Honestly, I don't think a guy like Stossel, who adamantly defended against Ron and Rand's position that private businesses can prevent blacks from entering their store, could be considered a "utilitarian libertarian." He's come a very long way from being a staunch liberal to a reliable libertarian.

As Stossel may have said in days past, "Give me a break."

SteveMT's picture

You forgot to mention email, cell phone, and text messaging.

We can also choose not to use those methods of communicating, since they are also being data-mined. However, we would be back in the dark ages if they were also not used. Relegating these non-users to a cave would indeed be voluntary. However, their future would be at a distinct disadvantage compared to others, like choosing not to drive, have health care insurance, or choosing not to pay taxes are all voluntary.

Is this April Fools Day?

Constitutional enemy Bill'ow teaching Stossel that its a bad thing the gov't is breaking 4th Amendment. Stossel has a powerful soap-box, and is often great, but, but, but... what the f*ck!!!?!

SteveMT's picture

John is missing the point.

The government is Google, YouTube, Facebook, Version, TBTFs, etc. These companies and banks are the government. It's called fascism, and we clearly have it. John is being selectively blind on this slippery-slope issue. It hits too close to his livelihood and future for him to say anything else. Everyone has their limits of Liberty, and few will go all of the way. Why Ron Paul still stands-out in a crowd of libertarians has just been answered.

EF Bill O'Reilly. The Ron Paul-Hating O'Reilly is the traitor.

Not Stossel. This is just that bastard O'Reilly trying to further split the liberty movement.

Stossel has done much more good than bad for liberty.

I must admit I don't really get his take on this except that like he says, our privacy is already pretty much blown.

It's partially the age we live in.

Either you get off the grid altogether and not use any electronics ,or realize there no way out of it if you do.

Most of us choose the convenience and opportunities all these electronice devices offer.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

No, If that was really Stossel's point, then whey did he

try to justify the NSA using random surveillance to search for terrorists? The whole blaming Amazon, Google, and Facebook thing not only shows Stossel's paranoia and ignorance regarding internet technology and the free market but it shows he was trying to grab at anything to avoid coming out in FAVOR of the NSA's tactics which he ended up doing anyway.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary

How he misses that distinction is beyond me. People can choose not to participate in FB and the likes.

The difference is,

If his employer and private companies are collecting data on him, that's one thing. If the government starts collecting data on him, it can use it to try and convict him of a crime and incarcerate him. His employer or FB, on the other hand, doesn't do that. That's the difference

You are correct

I like John Stossel. I am a subscriber to his youtube channel. I do not like his position on this NSA deal but after all he is right. Our information is out there in this the information age. Giving governments access to that information is wrong and having paid government goons doing nothing with their day but monitoring you or I is self-destructive and invitational to all sorts of abuses. The information age can stay and we SHOULD have a free and open society where everyone is free to express whatever they want and be subject to social scrutiny. But to put that power in the hands of a government who will use law to legitimize anything is a terrible thing. Dissolution of all aspect of federal government, save for the express concerns allowed by the constitution, is our only good option. Now how do we do that?

If we do not, they will dissolve us. They admit it!

The idea would be to CLOSE

The idea would be to CLOSE the tap, the tap of information storage, of information not expressly given permission to store, yes, the damage is done, but lets not make it into a catastrophy by keeping that "tap" open anymore.......(that is my dread)

As you say, voluntarily giving the information, thats the individuals business, as long as it is theirs to give......

I dont recognise WHATSOEVER the authority of departments whose sole purpose is to gather up information on others.......i think it is a DESPICABLE practice......i woukdnt want it from joe down the road, i sure as hell dont want from a department who has the ability to "legaly" threaten you with force

Im not gonna knock anyone who feels that there is a need for them, with created ourselves, everyone, a situation, where their is a possibility, that if we dont, then we may suffer......i say fuck it, if i was god, id obliterate ALL intelligence agencies, across the glode, so NO ONE, has the "upper hand" over anyone else, and as god, i'd create a binding agreement amongst men, to keep it that way, offhand, i think ill call it.....con-sti-pation....wait no, thats not right...

Disclaimer: Delusions of grandeur are for comedic purposes only

Clarification:So are disclaimers

I like Stossel, I do, but we

I like Stossel, I do, but we disagree here. Not every libertarian will agree on everything.

If you can't be upset about

If you can't be upset about the govt. spying on every phone call you make - you must be dead.

Do you believe me now?

My biggest downvote on DP ever was for a comment where I criticized Stossel for being a poor libertarian. I always felt that something was off about Stossel. He often seemed to be on the right side of an issue for the wrong reasons. His arguments were usually shoddy and full of holes. His motivation was more based on utilitarian reasoning, rather than justice and principle. Compare that with the Judge, who always invokes principle and radiates a passion for justice.

If Stossel's NSA apologist antics don't disgust you, his worship of the military-industrial complex will:


"It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go - maybe even longer. If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs." - Piet Hut

I'm done with Stossel


Gilligan's picture

Stossel's wrong on this, but he has done way more for liberty

than I can ever hope to.

Google is government.

What an IDIOT

I cannot believe this.....what part of listening in on private conversations and email does Stossel not get???

He is not a stupid man, but what is he? Fearful that if he doesn't play with Big Gov that he'll lose his show? That by committing such a patriotic betrayal that he might insure he gets to keep his show now?

What a jerk.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks Ed

BTW, I embedded the video in your comment, so don't get freaked out that it was the NSA! (Comments now accept embed codes for YouTube, thanks to Jon).

So it is perplexing that he would say this:

“My privacy is already blown… Amazon knows, Facebook knows all kinds of things about me.”

This means he doesn't understand the fundamental difference between private enterprise and government. That difference being that the government is the only entity that possesses the 'legitimate' use of force in our society.

Amazon may know all kinds of things about you, but they can't come and arrest you for them.

Thanks for the video.

Don't worry about the downvotes. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Thank you...

for the link. It's like Stossel is being used to "argue" against the establishment, but, on the big points, the propaganda that Fox News wants to promote, he all of a sudden bends on liberty. I believe this gives the "conservative" spoon fed audience further justification for belief in a talking point. "Hey even Stossel thinks this is ok, it must be."

He looks a bit like a pawn here, almost cowardly.