Andrew Sullivan (cette fois!) :
[…] yes, there is a real potential for abuse of a system like PRISM. But are we actually going to prevent government from using Big Data, while Google plumbs its depths even further and Buzzfeed even schedules its content by chasing algorithms? At least there is some minimal check on the government, a judicial court. It almost certainly needs more muscle, as this reader suggests, and that might be a helpful reform. There is also Congressional oversight – another important check. Yes, I remain skeptical and opposed to the state secrets that Obama has maintained which make it impossible for the public even to have a debate about trade-offs or those in Congress to protest publicly. But that doesn’t mean denying the realities of the low level Jihadist insurgency we and the Muslim world are struggling against.
I believe […] that Bush massively over-reached (unforgivably so on torture) and that Obama has improved on Bush immeasurably – no more torture, no more completely unchecked executive power, and a genuine attempt to close Gitmo – and may now be able to lead from behind on civil liberties with cover from parts of the public. At the same time, I’d welcome that. But PRISM? Big Data exists whether we like it or not. Not to use it and use more targeted forms of surveillance would unnerve me more. And yes, of course, there is potential for abuse – which is why I’m delighted it is now out in the open, where it should be. But we may find that the public’s view of the correct balance is not where Rand Paul or Glenn Greenwald or Freddie want it to be. And in the end, it’s their call.