A reader, responding to the Internet wiretapping post below, asks:
"Sacrificing civil liberties at the alleged benefit of reading the emails of people who are less than likely to be terrorists?
How is that not a "the terrorists have already won" scenario?"
A fair question. But my point is that court-supervisesd wiretapping of phones (along with other forms of surveillance) has been practiced for years. Most people believe that practice has been consistent with civil liberties. The idea of wiretapping isn't new. It's just that a new medium of communication, the Internet, has come along. Why should we revise a long standing policy now, especially in the face of a rising terrorist threat? Of course the system is subject to abuse. All systems are. And we just guard against abuse.
Moreover, I don't see why we have to assume that court-approved Internet wiretaps would single out innocent people any more than telephone wiretapping has.