Say you have one country — for instance, the US — that isn’t allowed to examine data of it’s own citizens, but can examine the data of the rest of the world’s citizens. Say you have another country — let’s call it the UK — that adheres to the same rules. Let’s further say that the intelligence agencies of these countries work closely together and share information. This seems a massive legal loophole that I haven’t heard anyone discuss.
It’s typical in US history for us (the public and then the government) to panic for a good decade when there’s any kind of threat. Then when the dust settles a bit, we revise our policies and feel pretty apologetic for our mistakes (internment camps, anyone?) I hope and expect we’re beginning that phase now with the “war on terror,” especially since Obama said recently that war is over.
Democracies can be run by the mob, but only for a while. Then rationality begins to take hold.
At least that’s my hope.