If we accept state aggression based on prior restraint arguments, then aggress we must ad absurdum. Why not stop all statists from procreating, lest they sire proponents of state theft and aggression? Such a program would at least be in furtherance of liberty. (And we could all do with fewer Meghan McCains.)
Prior restraint arguments are being galvanized as justification for nation-wide information sweeps conducted by the state for over a decade. Another cow, “Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching,” said “that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future.”
It is quite telling that the story about the “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily” was broken by Glenn Greenwald (an American) writing for The Guardian (British).
Most serious libertarians have been shouting about state snooping from the rooftops for over a decade. Now you’re listening! I already told you weeks back that there was absolutely nothing new about state snooping.
Via The Guardian:
Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.
The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
The Guardian approached the National Security Agency, the White House and the Department of Justice for comment in advance of publication on Wednesday. All declined. The agencies were also offered the opportunity to raise specific security concerns regarding the publication of the court order.
The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself.
“We decline comment,” said Ed McFadden, a Washington-based Verizon spokesman.
(I believe “Entertainment Interruptus,” published on November 28, 2001, was my first column touching on the The Patriot Act.)