Finally, there is the continued charge, tossed about freely on cable and Twitter, that the President of the United States is criminalizing journalism, waging a war on whistleblowers, and illegally spying on millions all over the world.
The attempt to reconcile our right to individual privacy with our right to a government that protects us from harm has been taking place for more than two hundred years. It is, in essence, a debate about what it means to live in a free society, and we must constantly adapt our answers to a world where technology keeps offering new ways to pry and new ways to kill.
I would be horrified if we actually had another president like Nixon who abused these new tools to destroy his political enemies, or worse. But I would be even more horrified if our government failed to stop an attack that killed thousands because an email or phone call detailing the plot wasn’t discovered, or a leak jeopardized a U.S. asset inside a rogue state or terrorist organization, robbing us of critical information that could have saved lives.