Letters: The NSA's 'haystack' of data

Re "Reining in the NSA," Editorial, Nov. 5

Having the National Security Agency stop its "haystack" collection of data, as you suggest, would put the U.S. at a disadvatage, especially since much of the world spies on other nations.


First, the data belong to the service providers. They are collected as a normal part of their operations. This may dent our privacy if the providers share the data with the government, but it is not an invasion of my privacy.

Second, the government, through the NSA, has a compelling need to collect metadata. Would you not prefer the government to have the ability to dig right into the data when a suspected terrorist activity is discovered? Certainly that's better than starting from scratch when the activity is found.

Michael Wolfstone


The NSA is out of control and has outlived its mandate. It is a relic of the Cold War.

The real question is why there is no credible political voice, particularly in the GOP, calling the NSA what it is: a big-government intrusion on civil liberties.

The Republicans are only further revealing their hypocrisy when they condemn the politicization of the IRS but give the egregious Orwellian overreach of the NSA a free pass.

Why the double standard?

Irene Colthurst

San Diego