Count me as one of the relatively few Americans who have become overly concerned about National Security Agency surveillance practices.
Perhaps it’s because I have nothing to hide or fear from the government. I behave myself, pay my taxes, don’t talk to terror organizations and am generally happy with my station in life.
Pretty boring stuff, actually.
Still, President Obama’s planned reforms of NSA surveillance tactics ought to be welcome news to those who have become anxious over recent revelations about what the government does to prevent terrorist attacks.
One change will be the requirement of judicial oversight of the release of any data collected. Republicans and Democrats seem to speak with one voice in Congress about the need to rein in the NSA, believing it operated with too much intelligence-gathering latitude.
Maybe so. Again, I have nothing to fear from it.
I get the concern, however, from those who worry about possible erosion of civil liberties, such as the right to privacy and the right to be protected against overzealous government intrusion.
Hasn’t the president told us that the NSA is not listening in on everyone’s phone calls? Hasn’t he assured us time and again that our privacy is being protected, that the NSA has been targeting only those suspected of engaging in potentially dangerous activity involving organizations bent on harming Americans?
Yes, I know: This is the same president who pledged we wouldn’t lose health coverage under the Affordable Care Act … and that pledge didn’t quite work out so well.
This is a different matter altogether.
Still, the changes ought to assuage some fears out there about NSA overreach.
Meantime, I’ll keep leading my boring life.