This week, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the National Security Agency’s data mining violates our Fourth Amendment right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers” and is “tyranny that our founders rebelled against.” Good for him.
In an op-ed, he adds, “We fought a revolution over issues like generalized warrants, where soldiers would go from house to house, searching anything they liked,” and wonders “which parts of the Constitution this government will next consider negotiable.” Good for him. I’m glad at least one senator reminds Big Government that our Constitution limits federal power.
And many libertarians are furious at this latest intrusion of “Big Brother.”
So what’s wrong with me? I just can’t get that worked up about it.
I know Big Data now in NSA computers probably includes my phone calls. (I hope it’s just time, duration, location and recipients, not my words, too, but I’m not sure.)
I know the snooping may be unnecessary. Government’s claim that it prevents terror is weak: Officials say a terrorist was caught, but New York City police say he was caught via other methods. I’m skeptical about the very claim that any terribly important “secrets” are held by unhappy 29-year-olds and 4.8 million other people (that’s how many Americans hold security clearance for classified material).
So it’s invasive, probably illegal and maybe useless. I ought to be very angry. But I’m not. Why?
I need to keep thinking about this issue, but for now, two reasons:
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