How ridiculous. An electronic (emailed) threat essentially shut down much of Harvard for hours recently, just as similar threats have closed airports and other public events so often in the past. But thanks to the publicity of Edward Snowden’s hysteric “disclosures,” there is a large portion of the public who want to make tracking such transmissions nearly impossible for government agencies. I say nearly “impossible,” because they demand that agencies tracing the offender through industry phone, email or Facebook call data must first exclude “innocent” people (themselves) using some sort of massive “no call“ or “good guy” exclusion type list.
Such a list is impossible to create. What do we do, investigate every citizen first to make sure he is a “good” guy, or do we just take his word for it and forever ban any examination of his future communications? Or do we try to find some magical way to be sure that the targeted person being investigated is a bad guy before even being given the right to check his communication records? Most alarming to me is that most all of the public alarm over these issues seems based on the hysteria that data collected will always be misused, especially by “the government.”
From the very start of our nation, men in uniform have risked their lives protecting our welfare and interests, but too many citizens today think that access to their communication data, even in the cause of national security, is asking too much.