The National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program has elicited a plethora of reactions from Americans over the years, from anger to despondence, guilt to fury. But for many, the prevailing emotional response was embarrassment.
After all, we had been warned explicitly by our founding fathers on this subject. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that those who trade their liberty for security deserve neither, by men who had studied every minute detail of what went wrong with the British empire, and how best to avoid falling back into the trappings of a monarchy.
Still, in the wake of 9/11, we threw much of this out the window, and soon found ourselves in the grips of a surveillance state that would have made Thomas Jefferson roll over in his grave.
It looks as though our lawmakers have finally come to their senses, however.
Senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress have said they support terminating the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance tool that collects information about U.S. phone calls and text messages, in opposition to a Trump administration push to preserve the program.
The growing consensus to let the once-secret program lapse marks a significant shift from four years ago, when lawmakers voted by wide margins on both sides of the aisle to renew it—with limitations.
The change in mood has also emboldened advocates of greater privacy protections in Congress to pursue additional changes to U.S. surveillance laws, which have come under intense political scrutiny during President Trump’s time in office.
Freedom should always be our nation’s number one priority, and allowing this despicable program to lapse is a step in the right direction to restoring our civil liberties.
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