If we think about it what is the problem with security service surveillance?
Totally of banking topic. The consternation about NSA and government surveillance displays an enormous lack of historic perspective on the topic.
What Americans Need to Know About the History of Spying | The Big Picture
5,000 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent
For thousands of years, tyrants have spied on their own people in order to crush dissent.
Keith Laidler – a PhD anthropologist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a past member of the Scientific Exploration Society – explains:
The rise of city states and empires … meant that each needed to know not only the disposition and morale of their enemy, but also the loyalty and general sentiment of their own population.
There are articles about tunnels and other obscure methods of information gathering.
However on a much simpler scale I am aware of someone who subscribed to certain magazines in the 1990’s that were related to that persons (legal) hobby. It turns out that hobby and the magazines set off alarm bells in the post office which found their way to the local RCMP. Fortunately that person knew someone in the local detachment, who made contact and all was sorted out uneventfully. But even if that were not the case a quick interview with the RCMP would have clarified the situation.
The point is that the Post Office and the RCMP were connected at the hip, and have been forever. Personally I have no issue with this. The Post Office and the security services have been connected closely for hundred of years in British based society. And we are the stronger for it. Security does not need to be managed on CNN.
Back the the NSA. Of course they are listening to stuff. Its a worthwhile debate about how and on what guidance or regulation they are permitted to do so, but really at the end of the day are we so so concerned that we actually want them to stop? Really? The internet world is complicated and that requires complicated solutions which build on age old practices. The latest dissertation on your most recent restaurant or family spat is hardly going to be something intelligence agencies will care about, but if that gets gathered, I say so what. (And yes, the 1990 magazines story was in fact yours truly, and thats for an over a beer conversation)