Mass Surveillance

The New York Times editorial board has a nice editorial on why mass surveillance is not the answer to terrorism. Like the New Yorker article that I wrote about yesterday, the Times calls out Brennan and Clapper for their past and current lies to the American public. They call Brennan's attempt to take advantage of the Paris attacks to advance his pro-surveillance agenda disgusting and cynical. You should definitely give it a read.

On the one hand, it's a “Well, Duh!” moment but it is, I think, significant that a main stream organ like the New York Times—not a libertarian bastion by any means—is editorializing in favor of our right to privacy. Perhaps it will give pause to those politicians who see the debate as an opportunity to posture.

In a similar article, Tech Crunch has a nice piece on how encryption is being scapegoated to mask the failures of mass surveillance. As anyone who's been paying attention knows, the intelligence agencies have been unable to point to a single case of the mass surveillance program helping prevent a terrorist incident. Rather than rethink their policies, Brennan and his cabal are pretending that Apple and Google are enabling terrorism. Terrorism that somehow managed to thrive long before ubiquitous strong encryption.

To channel I.F. Stone, these people are liars and nothing they say should be believed. They know, and we know, that outlawing Apple's and Google's secure chat applications would make no difference at all. There are plenty of open source applications available and even if there weren't terrorists could easily build their own. It's not like the technology is arcane.

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