What surprises me and also concerns me, is the knowledge more generally by this disclosure to all that this information is collected but more importantly, available. For those individuals with dastardly purposes who wish to circumvent and abolish the Constitution, some who were not aware of this collected information are now aware and scheming to gain access begins. Mind you that may not be the three and four letter agencies themselves. Rather, those who have ulterior motives, can and potentially will find ways to gain access to the information (call data, as an example), and without stricter controls, will potentially put that information to use in ways never envisioned, nor meant to be used.
There are certain realities within the classified community that are better left unknown to the general public, and to politicians who have not the need to know.
On a Constitutional note, yes, collection is feasible, but not by the US government. Whether this call data information, as an example, should be collected is a function of the service provider business model, and I believe is up to them - it is their intellectual property, and to the user/consumer of services, is a contractual issue between the SP and the consumer. The information is not the property of the US government, and thus, if criminal activity is suspected we have CALEA, and other legal means for the US government to gain access on a legal basis to the information that a SP may have available.
We live not in a new paradigm where the history and nature of mankind's past is not applicable. The history of mankind and previous kinds of governments shed light on what we don't want, and if one is inclined to believe in and understand the significance of the American revolution, and what followed, the birth of our Constitution, then some of us believe that its principles need be protected for all of the individuals of the US, for today and future generations tomorrow's.
Whether some contemporary generation is inclined to be monitored more readily than earlier generations, is not the issue at hand. The real issue is who owns the data, and by what means, legally or illegally, is the US government using to collect, gain access to, and applying the information. As I stated earlier, certain data is not the IP of the government, it is the service provider's IP, and should be controlled and managed exclusively by the IP owner, and the government needs to either pay for legal access, or use existing laws to gain access.
The other side of this is whether alternative means exist to identify the bad guys, i.e., as one example, terrorists. In my opinion, that should be our focus.
As for spying on international networks, well that is a diplomatic concern, and the tradeoffs associated with foreign entity monitoring. Not that justification is that other foreign countries do so, but almost all foreign nations monitor communications, and conduct other levels of spying on the US and others. A bit naive for those who don't know or think, otherwise - we don't live in a nice, clean world. There are those who scheme against our way of life - get used to it and keep it in mind.
I also contend we really don't know what motivates Mr. Snowden to divulge these national secrets! Certainly, some needed our attention, but others have no purpose being divulged as they will cost us, the taxpayer, greatly in ways we cannot nor can Mr. Snowden foresee.
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