A Wall Street Journal article lays out how the National Counterterrorism Centers may access every government database.
My favorite quote:
But they didn’t always know who was innocent. A person might seem innocent today, until new details emerge tomorrow.
We are operating under the assumption that everyone is a potential terrorist and we will treat everyone as such, e.g., collecting every government database. National security failures, at least those published in the press, are repeatedly failures to investigate and not failures to have sufficient information.
Some of these databases are so large that they take weeks to upload, meaning that they can’t even assist in imminent threat scenarios.
Before we even get to the privacy discussion, we need to discuss whether these measures even improved safety. I have not seen any convincing evidence that the gathering of massive amounts of data by governments reduces the threat of terrorism.
Let’s not even get into the discussion about how governments always end up abusing these powers. Do we learn nothing from history?