David Simon responds to Pinboard founder re: NSA collection of phone call metadata.

Basically, privacy of phone metadata is not protected by 4th Amendment -- this recent scoop is not new news.

(I censored the title because I just feel really uncomfortable with the word.)

If Mr. Maciej wants to address not merely the programs that intrude in ways that he finds unnerving or untenable, but instead focus on process and system, then I can be enlisted. If this is about oversight and accountability and reshaping the shadow government of the FISA court, I’m in. If it’s about establishing clear, definitive laws for how the inevitable waves of new technology are to be employed, and having a real discussion about what law enforcement goals and security concerns justify what level of intrusion, I’m committed. And if it’s about all of us kicking in, and admitting that, at points, citizenship requires shared risk and shared sacrifice — if it promises a compact between all of us, and rules that equate for the country as a whole –then I understand and agree with the fight.

But drawing the line here, with this datapile and this program — given all the legal precedent and credible law enforcement logic that we have accepted elsewhere — feels hollow to the premise of any American collective or society, and to any ideal of a common future, a shared future that we might claim for ourselves. Fight where you wanna, but if it’s here, over this? You might as well light that now-legal joint and walk away. Mr. Mooney had your number a long time ago.

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:06 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM.