Blogs > Liberty and Power > Debating Surveillance

Jan 19, 2006 11:22 am

Debating Surveillance

My colleague Bob Levy debates David Rivkin on NSA surveillance and the divine right of chief executives here (.pdf). Incidentally, I'll start to believe the scare stories about the Federalist Society taking over the world when they work out a way of getting new content on their website in some format other than .pdf.

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Andrew D. Todd - 1/20/2006

The discussion between David Rivkin and Robert Levy seems irrelevant. If as many as five percent of the citizenry decide to resort to technological measures, and the president cannot dissuade them, the NSA will simply drown in encrypted static. The task facing the president is to convince his political opponents that he is willing to play by the constitutional rules, and that they do not need to resort to defensive measures. And if he fails, the result will be a technologically updated version of Lexington and Concord.
I discussed the issue here a few days ago:;bheaders=1#73451

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You can debate until the cows come home about whether the Royal Prerogative extends to seizing the stores of powder and shot at Concord, or arresting John Hancock and Samuel Adams, but, as it developed, the underlying realities were somewhat different. David Rivkin, with his large claims, impossible of enforcement... well, if he is the President's friend, then who needs enemies?