You are failing hard on transparency and oversight when it comes to NSA surveillance. This failure is not the pragmatic compromise of Obamacare, which I strongly support. It is not the sheer difficulty of closing Guantanamo, which I understand. This failure is deep. If you fail to fix it, you will be the President principally responsible for the effective death of the Fourth Amendment and worse.
Mass surveillance to seek out terrorism is basically the same thing: very low prior probability that any given person is a terrorist, quite possible that normal behavior appears suspicious. Mass surveillance means wasting tremendous resources on dead ends. And because we’re human and we make mistakes when given bad data, mass surveillance sometimes means badly hurting innocent people, like Jean-Charles de Menezes.
So what happens when a massively funded effort has frustratingly poor outcomes? You get scope creep: the surveillance apparatus gets redirected to other purposes. The TSA starts overseeing sporting events. The DEA and IRS dip into the NSA dataset. Anti-terrorism laws with far-reaching powers are used tointimidate journalists and their loved ones.
These quotes are two one of many ‘benadida’ writes in is letter to President Obama. I don’t think I could articulate it any better than this. I, like the author, voted for President Obama twice. However, I too, am disappointed with “more of the same” as it relates to the apparent and seemingly unrestricted mass surveillance systems employed by portions of the intelligence community. No matter your feelings on the subject, I think its a necessary read for everyone.