Friday, August 23, 2013

Surveillance: An American Success Story

Ronald Kessler, veteran journalist and author of several books on the FBI and the CIA, offers a good piece in Politico in defense of surveillance in the name of security.

It’s fine for Democrats and Republicans to target potential voters based on what they buy, whether they attend a church or a synagogue, or whether they subscribe to hunting magazines or contribute to the Sierra Club.

It seems to be fine for Gmail to read our email messages to target us with ads tailored to whether we are about to get married, vote for a certain candidate, or purchase a house.

But what’s not fine, according to many in the media and politicians on the extreme left and extreme right, is for the government to store telephone numbers in case a warrant is needed at some point in the future to uncover the identity of a terrorist plotting to kill thousands of Americans.

Never mind that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the practice of obtaining telephone call records without a warrant. Never mind that a warrant must be obtained for the FBI to listen to a call. Never mind that no actual abuse has been found.

To be sure, errors — which the National Security Agency (NSA) has itself uncovered — occur, just as newspapers make errors that they correct daily. But no one has been able to cite a case of the government actually “spying on innocent Americans,” a breathless term used freely by the media and critics to imply improper intent.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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