A while back, I gave my cautious approval to an NSA program that said it was just collecting phone call metadata; information about calls – like the phone numbers, and date & time – but not the calls themselves. We can get this same information about government phones, so keeping ours didn’t seem that big a deal. Still, it seemed a bit of overreach.

Well, we now have more information coming out of the NSA telling us that, well, they did make a few oopsies. They told Bloomberg News that, over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found. Clever use of the passive voice there; no actual names of agents were mentioned. Another spokesman said that the actions were the work of overzealous NSA employees or contractors. Yeah, and just a few “overzealous” IRS workers in Cincinnati were responsible for the entire scandal of targeting conservatives.

Like most government wrongdoing, this is going to come out in dribs and drabs. Had it stopped with the revelation of phone call metadata, I could have been OK with it. But now we’re hearing about a few slipups here and later a few there.

I know, I know. Give government power and they’ll first take more, and then abuse it. Wow, now who could have anticipated that?

Filed under: Government

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