I think part of the issue is scope. I think that if there is one person (or a group, but individually identifiable) then you are correct, there needs to be sufficient protections on due process, including but not limited to a specific warrant with probably cause (though I do support the so-called "secret courts".So you are actually saying that if they look at your records only, they need permission but if they take everyone's at the same time there's no issue? That's like saying that if I rape you, I should go to prison but if I send goons to rape the entire population I should serve no time.
That's not exactly what I'm saying. In fact, I am saying the opposite. I'm saying:
- if they take my records only, they need permission.
- if they take some random subset of records, anonymously, and without specific target, they do not need permission. So if they say "we'll collect every fifth text", or "every fourth phone call" and screen them, I am okay with that.
- if they take some subset of records, but based on a specific "filter" criteria (i.e., "all NRA members", or "all people with the name Hussein"), they do need permission. They should have to justify the filter.
and where I got confusing:
- if they take ALL records, or substantially ALL records, it is, in my opinion, tantamount to the first line, and so they would need permission. To me, "80%" is "substantially ALL", because the "80%" is merely the best they can do at this point. They WOULD be taking all if it was technically possible (or practical).