by Jeremy A. Rabkin
October 23, 2013
The surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency are in trouble. The fundamental reason is that the American people no longer have confidence that data collected by the government will be used solely for national security purposes. Abstract legal arguments won’t restore public trust, because the distrust is not grounded in abstract concerns about executive power or the precise application of the Fourth Amendment. The prevailing atmosphere of distrust will be hard to dispel because, given what has emerged in the past two years, distrust is an entirely reasonable response.