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Top Secret America

The downside of Top Secret America: There is a vast, sprawling surveillance complex that's watching everything we do, and is not in turn being effectively watched or controlled. The upside, at least for civil libertarians, is that secrecy means lack of accountability, and lack of accountability has led to so much information overload and managerial confusion that it likely doesn't know what it's seeing. The downside of that, of course, is that it's probably also missing the legitimately dangerous communications it's capturing.

And in case you think it'll be easy to roll any of this back, consider the fact that we still take our shoes off and throw away water bottles when we attempt to board a plane.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 19, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
 
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Comments

"and throw away water bottles when we attempt to board a plane"

Wrong! We throw away water bottles when we attempt to go through security.

Posted by: ostap666 | July 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ezra - taking our shoes off actually makes sense. Your feet move through the metal detector faster than the rest of your body. When people - in the US - have attempted to smuggle radioactive material out of our nuclear facilities, they've used their shoes.

Posted by: mdg1111 | July 19, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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