The U.S. government has been looking and often gathering and collecting data on almost every phone call, website visited, and credit card transaction we make. In case you want to get caught up one this issue which hit the news world hard yesterday, this article on the National Security Agency (NSA) program called Prism is a good quick start. Here's a juicy quote of a quote from the article:

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

While it's hard to feel happy about this, could it be necessary to prevent another 9/11? If it did prevent something like a nuclear device being detonated in Chicago killing a million people, would it be worth it? Does this revelation give the bad guys notice that they need a new way to stay in touch?

Obviously, a government needs some secrecy, but how much is too much?

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Since the government might be listening to the goings on on TA, and since you are expressing displeasure with the Federal government, I'm surprised you continue speak up considering you apparently fear a team of government agents will drag you off into the night. You really should tone it down, don't you think?

According to a Washington Post/Pew Research poll, almost 2/3 of Americans are comfortable with the NSA's activities revealed so far.

I'll never forget American flags waving as we were "comfortable" with invading Iraq. (And now, Iraq really does have al Qaeda.) Such responses to terrorism are not only irrational, but can be counter-productive. Our sky-is-falling fear is what terrorists want, and that's what they're getting.

Let's discuss this: How much privacy is worth the destruction of a major American city and 100's of thousands if not millions of lives lost or ruined?

Suppose Prism is shut down and as a result a plot to detonate a nuclear weapon in some major city is thereby NOT prevented though it could have been?

IF you want to play what if games then what if we dont shut it down and it happens anyway because the slim leads to the plot are burried amongst a mountian of other leads? 

What if we let prism go on and along with the problems that we are going to run into with global warming, pollution and possible a war we end up like russia?

And you like to ignore the fact that any terrorist group able to aquire a nuclear bomb, transport it into america without being caught and set it off would more than likely be clued up enough to get around prism. As i keep on saying, it is not that hard.

You are trying to set up a false dichotomy here. Either we give up our pivacy or we get nuked by terrorists. But whatever happens in the future could be any combination of those.  We don't even have any information as a society  to make an informed decision here .

And you like to ignore the fact that any terrorist group able to aquire a nuclear bomb, transport it into america without being caught and set it off would more than likely be clued up enough to get around prism. As i keep on saying, it is not that hard.

That doesn't answer my question, which supposed that we took down Prism and as a result let an attack happen.

I will answer your question if you answer mine.

"which supposed that we took down Prism and as a result let an attack happen."

yes that would be bad , it would likely be agreed that prism would have been a good idea.

Now answer my question.

Now supposed we keep prism , relenquish all privacy rights fromthe government and we still get bombed? or we keep it and it gets abused untill we und up with as much freedom as russia?

Oh, that would be bad, too, but just because that one didn't get caught, we might yet catch another one, whereas under your plan both would happen. It's the old "They only need to succeed once; we need to succeed every time" which ain't gonna happen. It's about minimizing terrorism not eliminating it entirely. If you feel that unless we always succeed in preventing terrorism it isn't worth the effort, that's a very extreme and impractical position, and not one you're likely to find much sympathy for.

Yes and you also might miss the next one also. and the one after that. and the one after that. And can you please stop trying to create a false dichotomy here unseen.

Anyway what happens if we keep it, never get nuked but eventually end up with as much freedom as your average russian or chines resident because of it?

What is this false dichotomy? 

Prism reduces privacy, not freedom. Modern Russia may have a lot of problems, mostly economic and criminal in nature. In daily life, Russians have quite a bit of freedom. It's not the USSR of old and it certainly is nothing like North Korea.

Really? You seem to be missing alot of what happens to political dessenters in russia or china. Not all the time but often enough to have a chilling effect. And they are alot easier to find and charge with no internet privacy.

A lot of dissent goes on in Russia despite the cases that make the headlines. China is a different story. though you'd be surprised to know how much protest goes on there as well, chills or not. Of course the difference is that in both Russia and China they are likely breaking the law. It isn't against the law to protest in the US, although with less privacy it would be easier to find and "chill" lawbreakers here.

I know unseen, you are arguing my case for me as this is just like your question. It is not neccasarily a simple dichotomy between  privacy  or a surveillance dictatorship nor between prism or  getting nuked.


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