President Obama's federalization of many private systems and his adoption of the Bush administration's spying tactics are on a collision course that would expose many Americans' private data and communications to government scrutiny. I suspect that the public would be appalled that a taxpayer's financial information or a patient's medical records would be available to, much less perused by, the NSA. There are far less invasive network defenses that can secure government computing environments, such as upgrading good old-fashioned firewalls and filtering routers.
Obama came into office vested with vast new surveillance powers, which he voted for as a senator. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., while strenuously avoiding the word "illegal," called the original Bush snooping "unwise." But instead of trying to put the genie back in the bottle, Obama is considering expanding its power.