For John, BLUF: We always need to monitor the Government. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Thomas E Ricks, who was the Defense Reporter for The Washington Post from 2000 to 2008 is beginning to look like a contender for a slot on Duck Dynasty, but still, his blog at Foreign Policy, titled The Best Defense does look at DC based issue. Here is his recent take on the Snowden imbroglio, "The More I Listen to American Intelligence Officials, the More I Edge Toward Snowden. I think it is also the more he listens to younger Americans. Worth the read. And it is short.
Someone responded in an EMail thread, saying:
What I find so interesting…how much angst we spend on relatively modest penetrations of personal privacy by intelligence agencies, as opposed to the massive penetrations of personal privacy by private businesses…My response was:
Not my area either, but I have thought about it a bit. Google, which is at best amoral, can't arrest me, detain me or otherwise harass me or put me in jail. The Government can. It is that fear of the Government that motivated the Fourth Amendment (and some other Amendments). I accept I am giving Corporate entities like Google information that they will exploit when I sign up for Blogger or Facebook or Linked In. That is why on my iPhone I don't turn on the feature for following me around (although I figure there may be some secret back door for Federal Domestic Spying--I am not totally naive). Corporations are big and scary, but they come and go. The Federal Government has been growing in power for over 200 years, and before that there was the British Government, whose actions motivated the Bill of RightsJust one person's view.
By the way, fellow Lowell Blogger Greg Page (The New Englander) is making a business of advising groups about privacy in the digital age.
Regards — Cliff