David B. Grinberg

Thanks for your intelligent insights on this topic, Mark.

Two thoughts here:

1) The American people “don’t know what they don’t know” in terms of terrorist plots uncovered and foiled based on surveillance tools which are legally available to the U.S. national intelligence community. The gov may have disrupted and stopped hundreds or thousands of would-be terror plots that the public will never know about.

But it only takes one major terrorist attack for a public outcry on the other end of the spectrum claiming that gov is not doing enough to protect us. It sounds like a no-win situation for gov in terms of earning the public trust — damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

2) We can’t put technology, the proverbial genie, back in the bottle. The more new and evolving information technology becomes available to the public, the more difficult it will be for people to safeguard personal information — and not just from the government, but from phone companies, Internet providers, banks and a host of other entities, including computer hackers.

If some people really seek the utmost level of personal privacy then they should disconnect from today’s digital/mobile/virtual world. Don’t use the Internet or phones. Rather, go live in a log cabin in the woods.

It seems to have worked well for Henry David Thoreau on Walden pond.