November 18, 2013
His latest article isn’t directly a justification for that statement — in fact, it doesn’t even mention it — but it’s clearly cut from the same cloth. He makes the argument that the NSA should keep spying on all foreigners in part because they spy on us (and also because he thinks we’re good at it). However, he also has a rather unique interpretation of privacy:
Mass surveillance—where emails and other communications are vacuumed up, stored in databases, and then searched for keywords—doesn’t harm anyone in itself. The problem only arises when the information is used to detain, interrogate, or harass people.He’s using this bizarre and laughable line of argument to suggest that it’s okay when governments spy on citizens in other countries because their “intelligence agents do not have the time or inclination to harass random Americans, nor the capability as long as Americans remain in the United States.” So, in his mind: no privacy violation happens.
He doubles down on this thinking later, arguing again that if there’s no known “harm” to the individual, there’s no privacy issue at all.