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Letters: Government surveillance and safety

June 11, 2013

Re "Brave new world of snooping," Editorial, June 7

Aldous Huxley works well, and let's not forget George Orwell. But when studying the latest shock over vast and secret government spying, there is little time to unpack literary lessons.

Covert intrusion — with wide and movable boundaries, we now learn — is not new and was not gradual. It landed without flash or thunder but with the figurative speed and apparently the moral scruples of a meteor strike.

Several administrations have spied and lied — on comparably massive scales. Perhaps the pithiness of Lord Acton is the most we have time to absorb and react to: Power corrupts, and absolute power absolutely.

Yet such power really only occurs within a righteous, united, demanding public. Only in that unity can America face down its own insulated institutions, now cyber-fitted with the eyes of God.

Curtis Selph


You can't connect the dots if you can't collect the dots. You can't find a needle in a haystack if you can't look at the haystack.

The person who leaked the secret details of this crucial security program is guilty of treason and sabotage. Yes, the Constitution protects us from unreasonable governmental surveillance, but as Abraham Lincoln supposedly said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

Dan Schechter

Los Alamitos

My 4th Amendment rights have been violated, as there is no reason for the government to obtain my Verizon phone records. I refuse to condone this invasion of my privacy in the name of the search for "folks who might engage in terrorism."

This is not a good use of our resources. I do not believe that this behavior makes me safer, and I would not agree to it if I did. My liberty is worth more to me than some nebulous claim of safety.

Mary Holman



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