Alex Tabarrok is concerned that all of that information the NSA is gathering will be used for political purposes:
The Nixon administration plumbers broke into the offices of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in order to gather information to discredit him. They busted into a single file cabinet (pictured). What a bunch of amateurs.
The NSA has broken into millions of file cabinets around the world.
Nixon resigned in disgrace. Who will pay for the NSA break-ins?
I think that this is actually a more serious issue than his title or mine might lead you to believe.
My preference would be that the NSA not cast so broad a net. Indeed, I think that nearly every response of American politicians to the attacks on September 11, 2001 has been wrong-headed. I think they’re understandable but indefensible. At this point the only way the scope of the security state will be reduced will be through the democratic process and, since the incentives of both major political parties favor excess and neither major political party opposes it, such a reversal of course is far, far away.
I also think that if any U. S. administration exploits the vast amount of information we’re gathering for domestic political purposes the president whose administration it is should be removed from office whether he or she knew about it or not. To encourage the others.
However, in the absence of any real evidence that such a thing has actually transpired, I think that Dr. Tabarrok’s fears are overblown.