Back during the Iraq war, we were introduced to the
mercenary private contractors who got paid several times what the same job description in the US military paid. These contracts, often offered without bids, were supposedly how free market people do government. Privatize what you can, cut everything else was how conservatism saw government. I think of this as strip mining the public fisc.
Apparently, this is what Mr. Snowden was part of. Today I read a report that 500,000 of these “contractors” have access to the wiretaps.
Now this is a bit of a problem for me.
I take our security seriously and I take our democratic institutions seriously. But the idea that there is a group of security 1%ers (if true) that can wiretap folks bothers me not because they’re part of the government (there has never been similar outrage about, say, Google and what it could do) but because they are just too many.
Out of a group that large, a significant number will use this not just for chasing terrorists, but for helping out our enemies and for personal reasons. To settle personal scores or win custody battles with their exes.
I don’t share the paranoid reaction to the government being able to get a warrant and look for certain information. That seems very much in line with our Constitution and laws, even if it ends up looking different than some people expect. But I don’t expect that the government can then distribute that information to whomever it pleases, and I don’t think that is reasonable either.