In the years since September 11, 2001, the secret digital surveillance state has grown enormously. Given heightened security measures, heightened anxiety, and cheaper-than-ever data collection and storage, such growth was perhaps inevitable.
But what are the proper limits on the secret collection of information? Where do our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties stand in this new era? Do the federal government’s increased powers of surveillance even accomplish the security tasks at hand?
Constitutional lawyer and columnist Glenn Greenwald argues in this month’s Cato Unbound that the digital surveillance state is out of control. It’s also failed to deliver on its promises of greater security. Rather than helping to find the needle in the haystack, we have only made the haystack bigger.
Commenting on Greenwald’s essay will be Professor John Eastman, of Chapman University Law School; Paul Rosenzweig, now of the Heritage Foundation and formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security; and the Cato Institute’s own Julian Sanchez, a prolific journalist on the interface of technology and civil liberties. Please stop by through the rest of this month for a discussion of one of our country’s most pressing issues in both civil liberties and national security.