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View Diary: Why Progressives Are Wrong About the NSA (79 comments)

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  •  Yes and No (7+ / 0-)

    I am on your side on this matter, but for slightly different  reasons.

    Metadata collection is not the same as looking at e-mails and listening in on phone conversations.

    The 4th Amendment is a prescription against UNREASONABLE searches.

    Metadata is not an unreasonable search.

    That is my opinion and I know that many progressives here disagree.

    So that's why President Obama sent it back to Congress - to hopefully locate a common ground that can become new law.

    This is not an easy problem to solve.

    We all want to be as safe as possible, but we certainly do not want to give up our freedom and liberty.

    Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    I am not convinced that collecting metadata violates this notion, but plenty of people here will certainly disagree.

    As I mentioned, the solution is not easy.

    •  if you believe (6+ / 0-)

      metadata is harmless, you're wrong. Not to mention that we only have their word that that's all they're collecting.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 11:41:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I get the problem..... (0+ / 0-)

        The link states, basically, at the conclusion:

        "We would not need to know what was being whispered between individuals, only that they were connected in various ways. The analytical engine would do the rest! I daresay the shape of the real structure of social relations would emerge from our calculations gradually, first in outline only, but eventually with ever-increasing clarity and, at last, in beautiful detail—like a great, silent ship coming out of the gray New England fog."

        Thank you, you've basically proved my point.

        As the link you provided effectively outlines - Metadata is a tool to show linkage, not listen in on individual conversations.

        So, for instance, three phone numbers calling one another in the U.S., but only one calling a known terrorist in Yemen.

        Would it make sense to investigate all three people in the U.S. as possible terrorists?

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        Given that the people referenced in that example were revolutionaries planning on waging war against the legitimate government, wouldn't that be an example of the system working?

        Or is the point that the right of the citizens to conspire against the government should be protected?

        Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

        by EthrDemon on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:52:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The NSA of course does all of this as well . .. .. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, Odysseus, out of left field
      Metadata collection is not the same as looking at e-mails and listening in on phone conversations.
      with the "out" being that as the POTUS says "no one is reading your emails" - no they're not; they're being recorded electronically and analyzed by computer algorithms.

      so no, no one is reading or listening (most of the time) but that's a rather silly distinction to make considering what actually really is taking place.

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