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The case for, against government spying

May 21, 2006

Re "Forget privacy: We need to spy more," Opinion, May 17

Fair enough; Let's start with Max Boot. In his next column, Boot should publish his home address, phone number, private e-mail address, Social Security number, driver's license number and some of his credit card numbers. My guess is that he won't do it.

It's easy to say we need more spying until you realize that they're getting information on you and that information can be used or sold to your detriment. As a proud American, I will not support the abandonment of the 4th Amendment, but if Boot wants to, why doesn't he start by publishing his private information?

DON KRAIG

Sylmar

*

I was a boy during the height of the Cold War with Russia, the "evil empire." One reason Russia was so evil was that it spied on its own people. So how is this any different? We are either free or we are spied on; we are either a free people or not. What's next -- cameras in my living room for my own good?

PETER DAVISON

Santa Monica

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Boot is correct: We need more spying. Many on the left are constantly criticizing the president's proactive agenda to fight international terrorism. Now he's fighting verbal terrorism here at home. It's going to take another attack on the U.S. for some to understand the need for this sort of spying.

Some liberties of yesterday may be gone today; however, I believe the National Security Agency has to protect us now so the future is free from terror. Let the president do his job.

JOHN VERKUILEN

South Pasadena

*

Boot criticizes the telecom company Qwest for refusing to turn over customer records without a court order, and he suggests that Qwest should start an advertising campaign "touting itself as the preferred telecom provider of Al Qaeda." Such arrogance demonstrated by questioning the patriotism of anyone who dares to dissent only serves to confirm my opinion that this administration and its supporters are out of control and cannot be trusted. Far from the additional spying powers that Boot suggests, such mean-spirited, intolerant fanatics who cannot distinguish dissent from disloyalty should have their powers sharply reduced.

THOMAS DOBRZENIECKI

Costa Mesa

*

Boot argues that we should allow the government to spy on us because it has become incompetent at spying on our enemies. A better solution: Reestablish competent government.

CHRIS PLOURDE

Venice

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