This is coolbert:
As originally in The Economist and reprinted today in the Chicago Tribune, in entirety:
"For (Barack) Obama, this is a no-win situation. The only thing worse than missing a terrorist attack because an [a] NSA surveillance program had been blocked would be having the NSA leak that the terrorist attack was missed because you blocked their surveillance program. Now, having given the NSA what it said it needed to prevent any nasty surprises, he finds himself dealing with a different nasty surprise, the leak of the NSA program themselves. And that surprise has made the chances of accomplishing anything on the issues Obama really cares about - - health care, climate change, immigration reform, inequality - - more remote than ever. - - The Economist."
1. This IS SETTLED CASE LAW AND HAS BEEN FOR DECADES. For the government to obtain your phone records is NOT an invasion of privacy and again this has been the case for DECADES!
Who you called, when, and for how long has been deemed an open record and the government can obtain and does obtain your phone records.
2. What I would think is controversial is the volume and quantity of such records as being gathered. Indiscriminant it so seems and voluminous without almost measure. Phone calls, fax, e-mails, IM chat, etc.
3. And that the records are then being subjected, supposedly, to computer search using proprietary algorithms and protocols looking for unusual or suspect connections. As related to persons perhaps involved in terrorism.
4. This issue reminds me of TIA [Total Information Awareness]. Admiral Poindexter from Iran Contra fame/infamy [depending upon your perspective] having stated that in a notional and virtual city of 1 million persons, twenty or so terrorists residing in that virtual world, enough data collected and using computers with specific programs, algorithms and protocols, those twenty terrorists can be identified.
5. Also a problem [?] is the lack of awareness on the part of the general public as to the nature of the Internet and how it works. Two terrorist totally within the boundaries and confines of Pakistan having and Instant Messaging [IM] chat might have some of their communication electronic impulses pass through American routers, making those two Pakistani whether they realize it or not for the purposes of law "American persons". Again, such is the misunderstood nature of the Internet.
6. Also, keep in mind the pronouncements of Rabbi Akiva two thousand years ago: "During a time of war all laws may be set aside except for murder and apostasy".
Enough said on the topic.