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I agree, we need Intel collection, but both the Patriot Act reauthorization and the FISA act reauthorization were far too broad. Beyond that, as you say neither the FISA judges or Congress appear to be anything other than rubber stamps. Not only that, but it seems clear that the NSA Intel collection and analysis functions now support a wide range of domestic Homeland Security missions that go far beyond fighting the terrorists who brought about 9/11. NSA collected Intel goes to the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Forces and down to local police and private security forces at major financial institutions to combat perceived threats to the status quo from both the left and right side of the political spectrum from groups like Occupy Wall Street to Tea Party like efforts. Dissent or Terror: New Report Details How Counter Terrorism Apparatus Was Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide | PR Watch

I get that there are people who want to kill us and we need to fight them, and I run a data mining business, so I certainly understand the need to be able to sift data and identify targets and patterns, but one can do that without collecting all the electronic communications of the American population and keeping them forever. When all is said and done it all comes down to whether we want to sacrifice our Fourth Amendment freedoms for what we perceive is an increase in security. It is no different than the Anti 2A crowd telling us we need to give up the guns for the sake of our safety.
 
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