I've never committed murder. Yet I wouldn't allow the police to search my car for a dead body without a warrant. I've never embezzled funds, yet I wouldn't allow federal agents to check my bank records without a warrant. I've never been a drug user or a drug dealer, but I wouldn't let the DEA enter my house looking for drug paraphernalia unless they had a warrant sworn to based upon probable cause.
Yet I've been asked to trust the President and the government to decide which American Persons should have their phone lines tapped based on little more than a hunch and nothing like a warrant to grant permission for that invasion of privacy. Conceptually, I assume the idea is that if I've done nothing wrong, I have nothing to worry about, and these searches are geared to prevent crimes from happening. Random house searches based on hunches could catch a lot of drugs and video surveillance could catch a lot of batterers, but it invades our persons, our privacy, and ourselves. We built this nation on the premise that as free people, we would be free from heavy government interference, yet that interference is what we've been asked to accept in the name of security.
I read at Donklephant (link here) that the FBI sought information on 3501 U.S. persons last year, which is considerably lower than what many had feared. Sean Aqui from Donklephant was reporting on this article. I suppose that's good news, yet I wonder if this is less good news like "you don't have cancer" and more "good" news like "we THOUGHT you had four types of cancer, but you only have 2."
Maybe the government is looking at this like fishing. You keep casting and get one or two bites, and when you do, you're happy. I think it's more akin to fishing with dynamite. You hit a whole lot of fish, only keep the ones you want, and let the rest rot. It's more efficient, but, it's just not right.