Is Government Data Mining Necessary To Keep Us Safe?

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The revelations in the Washington Post's report on PRISM trains the spotlight on a sticky dilemma.

PRISM is a U.S. government anti-terrorism surveillance program that hinges on data mining of Internet traffic records contributed by Microsoft, Google and several other tech giants,

It's hard to argue against leaving no stone unturned in preventing another 9-11 terrorist attack. On other hand, history is replete with examples of autocrats using intelligence-gathering to oppress.

CyberTruth asked an array of experts to weigh in:

"News reports of the last few days make clear that Congress has lost control over the legal authorities that permit electronic surveillance in the United States. Simply stated, the system of checks and balances has collapsed. Congress must begin comprehensive hearings with the goal of reestablishing legal control over the vast surveillance apparatus that is now directed to the private communications of American citizens." –Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, EPIC

"To me, electronic monitoring is the same as video camera monitoring. It's excellent if it keeps us safe. It's intrusive if it sees something we thought was private. Perspective. It's all about perspective." –Alan Paller, Research Director, The SANS Institute

"PRISM is clearly an unconstitutional overreach by government spy agencies. It is completely unjustifiable and wrong.The Internet companies that cooperated should be ashamed of themselves. They should have resisted and told the public what was happening." –John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog

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