Monday, August 18, 2008

Land of the Free, Home of the Watched

Think about it.

The question of domestic spying isn't for bipolar debate. It's not an all/nothing or zero/sum question. It's multifaceted question, isn't it? It raises considerations about our national identity, questions of purpose and intent, issues of cost and benefit, both literally and philosophically, problems of government oversight and government integrity, questions of government transparency and questions of government secrecy, and considerations of the possibility of electoral freedom when the incumbent government has its eyes and ears everywhere.

Nor is it an issue to be looked at independent of other issues. What does it mean to have this kind of capacity and privatized militaries and an epidemic of detention centers? So exactly why is it "paranoid" for a red-blooded American to point out sinister triangulations like that?

Where is the point of diminishing returns in government by espionage? Who decides? When do we get to vote on this? How thrilled am I that China has 600 transparent cities, and do I want that kind of "transparency" here? Should it mean anything that the four cameras at that Scottsdale intersection gave me goosebumps? Is anybody else worrying about this?