2. it is impractical to control the use... of surveillance... through legislation,
actually means is: We don't need the 4th amendment, the FISA, or the ECPA. At best they are ineffective.
I perhaps should have been more precise. Allow me to append the word "alone" after "legislation" above. I certainly think the structures you enumerate are valuable as far as they go, I simply think they're insufficient. I don't believe the recent abuses are in any way the end of the story, or that the end result will be more effective supervision. Rather, I think it's quite dangerous to assume that the various egg-faced bureaucrats and agents in the current administration (or their replacements, perhaps) aren't considering how to make the process more clandestine.
In short, perhaps, my faith has been shaken deeply in congress as an effective check against actions of the executive branch and agents of the various intelligence and law enforcement agencies that serve it.
The embrace of legalized and ubiquitous surveillance by both state and citizen involves an oversimplified, utopian view of humanity that is on par with the accidents of communism.
I look forward to hearing more about your position here.
Perfect enforcement of perfect regulations by perfect people is a recipie for a socially impoverished society.
Which is precisely why I don't think regulation is sufficient. It cannot properly contain the likely abuses of this power. At present, the only way I can see to effectively prevent abuses is for the powerful few to realize that their public actions are likely to be scrutinized as well. It's harder to "disappear" someone if a half dozen cameras see you do it.
RE: big_brother.jpg (JPEG Image, 375x500 pixels)