NSA PRISM Program: Can We Trust the Government With Our Secrets? No.
To say that the expansion of surveillance powers comes with a high—and historically well-documented—risk of abuse is not to say that the NSA is interested in your cat photos. If you’ve never expressed an edgy political idea, you’re probably not at great personal risk. The people swept into the net at moments of expanded intelligence powers have almost always been outspoken political dissenters or critics of the intelligence establishment. The basic premise of the civil libertarian stance is that what happens to those people matters to all of us—not only because “we might be next” but because the free exchange of political ideas and criticism is the heart of American democracy.