All those Americans who were worried that the NSA could be abusing its alarmingly wide discretion to collect telephone data to track their locations can now rest easy. The Wall Street Journal reports that, while NSA officials are legally allowed to use data ”that can pinpoint the location of callers,” they choose not to.
Because of concerns about intruding on Americans civil liberties? Nah. Mainly because “the data doesn’t provide sufficient intelligence value to justify the resources that would be required to use it.”
The WSJ says that this is among the “new details that portray [the NSA’s] efforts as tightly controlled and limited in scope.”
As Locke labored to point out, much of the task of governance is ultimately a matter of prudence. But saying, ‘Trust us, we’re good guys” is not a particularly reassuring defense — especially from this administration.