Just to make sure you’re not planning e-911:
The nation’s top spy, Michael McConnell, thinks the threat of cyberarmageddon! is so great that the U.S. government should have unfettered and warrantless access to U.S. citizens’ Google search histories, private e-mails and file transfers, in order to spot the cyberterrorists in our midst.
This is a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. Besides, it is such a lame method for catching real terrorists. I’m no intelligence expert, but you can’t convince me that the NSA unrestricted access to all our Internet activity to turn up a little useful intelligence.
Good night, think of all the billable hours (since you can bet your next paycheck that the majority of the mundane sifting will be contracted out to a firm owned by somebody with really good government connections) just sorting through the spam for cheap [email protected]!
What’s worse is that this new manifestation of the Big Brother state isn’t even necessary. The NSA already has near-absolute power to comb through our cyber-stuff:
[T]hat restriction collapsed this summer with the fear-induced, strong-armed passage of the so-called Protect America Act. That law radically re-architected the nation’s surveillance apparatus.
Now the NSA can turn Gmail’s servers and AT&T’s switches into de facto arms of the surveillance industrial complex without any court oversight.
And though the law ostensibly sunsets in February, any orders in effect at that time will have power for another 12 months. Moreover, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is reportedly planning to discard legislative attempts to rein in these new powers and will instead simply push to extend the current scheme another 12 months.
In short, McConnell’s politically convenient exaggerations have already worked well for him in winning domestic spying powers, despite their flimsiness under any real scrutiny.
The Constitution is a hollow shell.