Surveillance – Do I Have this Wrong?

I haven’t kept up with the big Snowden/NSA story going on in the states right now, but I did happen to catch Piers Morgan struggle to create tension last night because all of his guests were agreeing with each other. The issue surrounds surveillance, and here’s what I gathered:

In the old days, governments & their long arms of the law needed to know who they were monitoring before they were issued the right to tap a phone or something. Now, governments can monitor anonymous data and decide later if they want to find out the identity of any particular piece of data. The concept of surveillance still technically applies to both of these situations, but they are not on the same level of inspection – we need a term to distinguish the two situations, but the law hasn’t caught up with technology yet. Is this accurate?

It’s a great debate going on in the States right now, important on many levels, and it’s fascinating to see America at work.

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