Poll+LA Times Op/Ed-Time for Limits on the Ever-Expanding Powers of NSA Cyber Spies
Please vote the Poll before you go. A bit of explanation-By relevance to an investigation I mean specific enough to impress (at the very, very least) a FISA judge. But what I really support is a relevance that would impress a well experienced judge outside of secret panels. By essential to National security I mean a serious attack on this nation. Not drug dealers, bitcoin characters, music bootleggers or bank robbers.
The item on the panel’s list that has gotten the most attention is the recommendation to prohibit the NSA from hoarding data on every phone call placed by U.S. citizens. Instead, the information would stay with the telecommunications companies and could only be accessed by the government for a specific investigation authorized by a court order. Though it can be argued that no one’s privacy is really compromised since 99% of that information has never been looked at by any government agent, civil liberties advocates insist, nevertheless, that such sweeping intelligence gathering sets a dangerous, un-American precedent.
Even with the best intentions, it is the nature of government agencies to accumulate more power if they are unrestrained. This is especially true of America’s proliferating spy organizations because the claims of national security can trump all other considerations. Add to that the ever-expanding technological capability the NSA and other spy agencies have to peer into every dark corner of a person’s life, and there is the real potential for Uncle Sam to turn into Big Brother.