Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge nixes warrantless wiretapping

The AP today reported that a federal judge has ruled the NSA's wiretapping program unconstitutional.

I have conflicting feelings on this.

On the one hand, I don't feel government should be expanding itself to the point where it monitors our phone calls. Yet, on the other, I have to admit that it is probably an effective method of finding and preventing terrorists and terrorism domestically and abroad.

I think that part of the program that bothers me most is the data-mining. Supposedly, the program operates by having criteria entered into a computer that would then search for suspicious business. This kind of behavior smells of "police-state" activity.

Like I said, I feel conflicted. I believe when it comes to terrorism, the federal government is the best way to prevent and protect. But, I'm not sure if giving up basic rights is worth it. Will I sacrifice safety for principle, or principle for safety?

It's probably not even as simple as that.

More stories about NSA wiretapping can be found here and here.

2 comments:

Lauren Bingham said...
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Lauren Bingham said...

You wrote that this government-sponsored spying is "probably an effective method of finding and preventing terrorists." First of all, this spying has been going on for a while now; what proof do we have that it's worked? Do you feel safer? Secondly, let's say that I suspect that a coworker will get the promotion I'm after, so just in case, I kill everyone in my office. Is it effective in ensuring that none of them will get my promotion? Absolutley. But is it legal and ethical and above all sane? Heck no.

Obviously my point is, (excuse the cliche) the end doesn't justify the means. We're shooting ourselves in the collective foot by allowing big brother free reign in the name of preventing terrorism.