Take a step back for a moment. The purpose of the State, the first job it is tasked with, is the protection of that State from external enemies. This is the first principle of even having a State in the first place: to make sure that the populace is protected from the depredations of the foreigners who would do them harm. So the idea that the spies would be attempting to look at the telecoms data of said foreigners shouldn't really surprise us. Indeed, this is something we actually want said State to be doing: this is rather the purpose of having both it and the spies it employs.The matter is entirely different when such a State uses the same methods to look at its own citizens: this is a gross abuse of power and a serious threat to any form of liberty or freedom. Which is why there are legal protections against it in most free and liberal states. And as we can see with PRISM those safeguards are in place. Data on US citizens or residents might be collected but only as a by-product of collecting it on those foreigners. Who do not have any of those legal or constitutional protections.
- Read Brian Walsh: Obama Proves Bush Was Right About Data Collection and Security
- Read Susan Milligan: Americans Should Blame Congress, Not Obama, for Phone Data Collection
- Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad