Defending the Surveillance programs

Most of the discussion on this blog about the government’s program to monitor phone calls and the internet has been against it.  But some pundits, politicians, and security experts are defending the surveillance.

After the jump, I have excerpts from two journalists who defend the programs.  The conservative Charles Lane argues that, despite Rand Paul’s plans to file a lawsuit against the surveillance programs, they are, in fact, constitutional and legal.  The liberal Richard Cohen argues that the surveillance isn’t all that bad.  Safeguards are built in, and, besides, we have already given up our privacy every time we log onto Google and other online sites.

Do these arguments change your mind?  If not, how would you answer them?

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A Patriot or a Traitor?

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee who has been working with an intelligence contractor, revealed himself to be the source of reports about the government’s mass monitoring of telephones and the internet. After the jump, read about the cloak-and-dagger details from the perspective of the reporter to whom he leaked the classified information.

Do you consider him to be a traitor for giving aid and comfort to the enemy by disrupting a major anti-terrorism program?  Or do you consider him to be a patriot for exposing major threats to constitutional principles and American liberties? [Read more...]

The Surveillance State is also Bugging the Internet

As we posted about last week, the federal government has been secretly monitoring millions of phone calls.  Now it has been learned that the feds are also  secretly monitoring massive amounts of internet activity by tapping into servers of internet companies. [Read more...]

The Surveillance State

The federal government has been monitoring the phone calls of some 10 million Verizon subscribers (nearly 10% of them), thanks to a secret court order that initiated what is being called the largest and most open-ended surveillance effort ever and a grave assault on civil liberties. [Read more...]

Supremes give police access to your DNA

It takes a warrant for the police to search your house or tap your phone.  But not to record and keep track of your DNA.  So ruled the Supreme Court yesterday.  The Constitution’s protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” do not apply to your genetic code. [Read more...]

IRS harassment of pro-life groups

More increasingly alarming details are coming out about the IRS scandal.  See this, for the kind of intrusive information the IRS demanded.  See also this and this for how liberal organizations applying for the same status were routinely and quickly approved, no questions asked.  And how as many as 500 conservative organizations were targeted.  We are also learning that the IRS was harassing pro-life groups as far back in 2009!  Not just making them fill out lots of forms and delaying approval for two years and more.  But forbidding pro-life leaders from sidewalk counseling and from protesting in front of Planned Parenthood abortuaries! [Read more...]