The Surveillance State
Posted on December 31, 2015 by Lou
Traffic accidents killed more than 2500 Americans this month. But it’s the 14 people massacred in San Bernardino in early December who preoccupied us as we drove to work, holiday parties and shopping centers.
There’s little value in being told that the chances of our friends, family or ourselves being blown up or gunned down are miniscule compared to the routine hazards of the road. The fact that every day nearly 100 Americans die in a car crash is a risk factor we’ve already incorporated into our lives.
But please keep that in mind as we adjust and adopt to domestic terrorism.
Over the next several years, hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent on technology, systems and personnel to protect against attacks. Coordination among local police departments, the FBI and the NSA will be significantly enhanced. The Surveillance State will take on new dimensions.
I’m not necessarily opposed.
Progressives know that a wave of bombings or shootings will trigger an illiberal reflexive reaction among frightened Americans which plays into the hands of right-wing demagogues. So we have to accept invasive measures and expanded police powers.
The question is can we maintain meaningful privacy protections and due process in this fearful atmosphere?