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Opinion: Where’s the Outrage Over NSA Surveillance of Americans Phone Calls, E-Mails?

 
By JENNIFER STISA GRANICK and CHRISTOPHER JON SPRIGMAN
New York Times

The twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy” were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrix Hertzberg and David Ignatius. 

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics.

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