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Western Opinion Sampler: Talking back to Big Brother ...

Published June 10, 2013 12:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Opinion writers all over the place are chiming in with their reactions to the news on how Utah's soon-to-be local spy network — the National Security Agency — has been datamining phone records and tapping into Internet services. The reactions range from a yawn to outrage, with a lot of unanswered questions.

— Time for answers: Lee, Chaffetz have a role to play — Salt Lake Tribune EditorialEven a blind chicken can find a kernel of corn now and then. And the many members of Congress who are predisposed to loudly oppose everything that the Obama administration has done, is doing or might do have been handed a bumper crop, in the form of a deluge of information about the National Security Agency's vast sweep of private telephone and Internet histories.Reacting to this news in the right way would both protect the American people from the excesses of their own government and help politicians such as Utah's Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee turn their image from that of two predictable scolds into a pair of true reformers.Don't blow it, gentlemen. For all our sakes. ...

— Spying on Americans and defending the practice of it — Deseret News EditorialThe fact that the National Security Agency has been examining records of millions of private telephone calls is disturbing in itself, but official statements defending the practice are even more unsettling. The Obama administration says citizens concerned about privacy rights have nothing to worry about. The administration is wrong. ...

— Records scrutiny is nothing new — Prescott Daily Chronicle Editorial... We remember the first time we heard about this sort of surveillance, back in 2006, and we recall reluctantly accepting this apparent intrusion as part of the price of protection from evil-doers. In fact, an organization dedicated to consumer privacy issued a statement Thursday indicating that the activity not only is nothing new, it is likely far more widespread than the British report implies. ...

— All this snooping is legal, and that's the problem — Orange County Register Editorial

— Federal snooping program PRISM is troubling — Seattle Times Editorial

— Scandals challenge the heart of liberty — Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial

— Security vs. civil liberties: America needs a full debate — San Jose Mercury News Editorial

— Public needs say in massive data-mining surveillance — Kansas City Star Editorial

— Clear the air on phone snooping — Denver Post Editorial

— Phone spying is an outrageous assault on our liberties — Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

— Brave new world of government surveillance — Los Angeles Times Editorial

— Seizing cellphone records abuses liberty — Arizona Republic Editorial