Hello total information awareness, goodbye freedom
Top Democrats and Republicans have finally found something they can agree on: it’s acceptable for the National Security Agency to indiscriminately seize and warehouse U.S. citizens’ phone, Internet, and credit card records. They assure us that the NSA is only collecting metadata, and it’s only to protect us from terrorist attacks.
What could possibly go wrong?
Many of us remember a time when the idea of the U.S. government monitoring everyone’s communications and transactions was unthinkable. That was something that happened in countries such as the Soviet Union and East Germany. Admittedly, the world has changed since then. The totalitarian regimes of yesterday relied on neighbors, classmates, and co-workers to spy on their fellow citizens. We’ve automated the process using computers, the Internet, and gigantic water-cooled data centers.