Where’s the Evidence that the NSA Programs are Working?
Julian Sanchez concludes his column (The War on Terror’s Jedi Mind Trick) on the NSA’s collection of phone data thusly:
While we may sometimes have to trade a bit of privacy for greater security, the Review Group rightly argues that we must demand evidence that we are really getting that security, relying on rigorous cost-benefit analysis rather than dramatic anecdotes. After a decade of bogus claims that intrusive programs are necessary to keep us safe, it is high time for Americans and lawmakers to stop being played for suckers.
This echoes something I have been arguing since back in the Bush administration: if these policies actually worked the way they are supposed to, there would be any number of successes for the administration to point. Instead, we get assurances that the policies are efficacious, but no evidence is actually provided to prove it.
The whole column is worth a read.