Schneier makes a great point that can be generalized to many areas of government: efficiency is not the ultimate goal, effectiveness is. The metaphor to use on the generals involved is “defense in depth”.
In my mind, Schneier makes one cardinal mistake. He writes:
As far as domestic surveillance of individuals is concerned, I agree. But foreign surveillance? NO WAY. The NSA’s large-scale “foreign surveillance of individuals” is nothing short of a massive human rights violation on a global scale.
Limiting the human right to privacy while observing all due process safeguards is probably sometimes necessary to combat crime, but as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Austria, it is my BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to have any such limitations be governed by Austrian law, which I get to vote on.
American domestic law doesn’t come into it.
schneier’s idea unfortunately seems a little myopic. the NSA is only 1 of 17 US intelligence agencies. breaking it up seems unlikely to make the US’ intelligence apparatus easier to hold accountable.
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