Columnist and writer, Peggy Noonan seems to have found the nail and decided to hit it on the head.
Living, as we do, in an encroaching police state, privacy has become one of those "inconvenient" truths that so offend the present administration.
Noonan says, "
What is privacy? Why should we want to hold onto it? Why is it important, necessary, precious?
Is it just some prissy relic of the pretechnological past?
We talk about this now because of Edward Snowden, the National
Security Agency revelations, and new fears that we are operating, all of
us, within what has become or is becoming a massive surveillance state.
They log your calls here, they can listen in, they can read your
emails. They keep the data in mammoth machines that contain a huge
collection of information about you and yours. This of course is in
pursuit of a laudable goal, security in the age of terror.
Is it excessive? It certainly appears to be. Does that matter? Yes.
Among other reasons: The end of the expectation that citizens'
communications are and will remain private will probably change us as a
people, and a country.
Privacy matters a lot. It has just become somewhat inconvenient for a government that chooses to prey upon citizens, rather than serve them.
Public Servants? That term went out of style and Barack Obama intends that it never return.
Al Qaeda is still here, its networks are growing. But you have to be
careful about who's running U.S. intelligence and U.S. security, and
they have to be fully versed in and obey constitutional guarantees.
"There has to be somebody supervising them who knows what's right. . . .
Terrorism is not going to go away. But we need someone in charge of the
whole apparatus who has read the Constitution."
Advances in technology constantly up the ability of what government
can do. Its technological expertise will only become deeper and broader.
"They think they're getting to how you think. The technology is such
that with the masses of databases, then privacy will get even weaker."
Mr. Hentoff notes that J. Edgar Hoover didn't have all this technology. "He would be so envious of what NSA can do."