The security state operates as a ratchet. Once you click in a new
level of surveillance or intrusiveness, it becomes the new
baseline. What was unthinkable yesterday becomes permissible in
exceptional cases today, and routine tomorrow. The people who run
the American security apparatus are in the overwhelming majority
diligent people with a deep concern for civil liberties. But their
job is to find creative ways to collect information. And they work
within an institution that, because of its secrecy, is
fundamentally inimical to democracy and to a free society.
Remarkably thoughtful essay; if you read only one thing this week, make it this.