The Big Think

January 22, 2014

Knowledge is Power

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 12:02 pm

Knowledge is Power:

“The power to search all our communications – or all our third-party records – is a power too great to repose in the government’s hands. Unlike private business like Verizon or Google, those in government have a strong incentive and desire to suppress dissent – along with their political rivals – and need only the means to do so. Unlike private companies, they have the power to incarcerate anyone on their enemies targeting list should their searches turn up anything incriminating. Yahoo and Sprint have neither the motive nor the means to restrict our liberties.

Cato’s Jim Harper and I have contended that all these bulk data seizure programs are both illegal under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. But set aside such arguments. Whether legal or illegal, constitutional or unconstitutional, knowledge is power. And this is too much power to give any agency of government.”

I’m pretty disappointed that members of left-leaning organizations have been relatively quiet about these issues compared to the fierce moral urgency of change they spoke of during the last administration. By their behavior you would think that all of the demonstrations were just pretense for getting their guy into power, not actually arguing on the basis of principle. Now that it’s their side with their hands on the levers? Not such a big deal any longer.

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