“The hidden consequence of Snowden” (Comment, Jan. 7) by Robert Samuelson contained disappointing flaws. Just because someone decides to share information about themselves on the Internet, the NSA cannot feel authorised to snoop around. Just because my house is open to friends it does not imply that all and sundry can drop by. The statement that the NSA collects information only on certain people is also not entirely true.
There have been articles that report NSA staff snooping on spouses, love interests and ex-lovers. It is only a small step from here to spying en masse. It is strange that rather than encourage people to fight this pseudo-police state, the writer justifies this gross infringement of privacy.
Online spaces were intended to allow people to share their life with the circle of their choice without compromising on their genuine privacy concerns. Just because something is publicly accessible it does not mean the material is open to be publicised.
In the words of Richard Perle, a former defence policymaker in the Bush administration, “law-abiding citizens value privacy, terrorists require invisibility; the two are not the same and should not be confused”. Such state-sponsored snooping on innocuous citizens must be distinguished from security intelligence.