Originally Posted By: garyW
Bill Maher summed it up last Friday: when the Framers of the Constitution limited government intrusion for privacy rights, security considerations did not include nukes. When an entire city can be obliterated in seconds, an archive of metadata for reference to connect the dots and prevent such a thing seems like a national security necessity they might have considered.

The logical conclusion of that line of reasoning is that a free and open society is less and less possible in the face of increasing weapons technology: Think of a worst-case possible scenario and eliminate rights and freedoms in order to prepare for it -- as technology and capability increase, rights and freedoms decrease.

Yes, some bad people could set off a nuke somewhere. The question is how likely is that really? And to what extent are we willing to sacrifice rights and liberties to reduce (note I didn't say eliminate) that possibility, even if (as I suspect) it's rather low to begin with?

Obviously if we want to retain a semblance of what this society has been based upon, there's a balance to be struck between those ideals and the security environment that surrounds us. The question is where is that balance and where do we draw that line? And as technology and weapons capability advance, how do we prevent ourselves changing inexorably from a freedom-oriented state to one solely focused on security?