Saturday, December 17, 2005

NSA Monitoring US based communications >link<

The link above is to a discussion thread at the Volokh Conspiracy concerning the NY Times story yesterday describing how the NSA has been monitoring communications to and from the US during the war against terror.

Here is the link to the NY Times story:

The issues, as I seem them, are as follows:

(1) Is the NSA monitoring "right" or "wrong" ("good" or "bad")?
(2) Is the monitoring moral or immoral?
(3) Is the monitoring ethical or unethical?
(4) Is the monitoring legal or illegal?
(5) Is the monitoring constitutional or unconstitutional?

The answers to the first two questions are highly subjective; the answers to the remaining three questions are somewhat more objective. I think we all need to recognize that we do not know the specific types of communications that were monitored. We don't know how they were selected. We don't know the procedures used to determine which communications would be monitored.

Not all warrantless searches unreasonable; not all warrantless searches are illegal or unconstitutional. Until we know what the procedures were, we really can't answer the five questions above.


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