November 7, 2013
The Surveillance State Puts U.S. Elections at Risk of Manipulation

Did the Obama Administration ever spy on Mitt Romney during the recent presidential contest? Professor Alex Tabarrok, who raised the question at the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution, acknowledges that it is provocative. Until recently, he would’ve regarded it as a “loony” question, he writes, and he doesn’t think that Obama ordered the NSA to spy on Romney for political gain. 
Let’s be clear: I don’t think so either. In every way, I regard President Obama as our legitimate head of state, full stop. But I agree with Tabarrok that today, “the only loonies are those who think the question unreasonable.”* Most Americans have a strong intuition that spying and electoral manipulation of that kind could never happen here. I share that intuition, but know that it is nonsense: the Nixon Administration did spy on its opponents for political gain. Why do I worry that an unreformed surveillance state could put us in even greater jeopardy of such shenanigans?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

The Surveillance State Puts U.S. Elections at Risk of Manipulation

Did the Obama Administration ever spy on Mitt Romney during the recent presidential contest? Professor Alex Tabarrok, who raised the question at the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution, acknowledges that it is provocative. Until recently, he would’ve regarded it as a “loony” question, he writes, and he doesn’t think that Obama ordered the NSA to spy on Romney for political gain. 

Let’s be clear: I don’t think so either. In every way, I regard President Obama as our legitimate head of state, full stop. But I agree with Tabarrok that today, “the only loonies are those who think the question unreasonable.”* Most Americans have a strong intuition that spying and electoral manipulation of that kind could never happen here. I share that intuition, but know that it is nonsense: the Nixon Administration did spy on its opponents for political gain. Why do I worry that an unreformed surveillance state could put us in even greater jeopardy of such shenanigans?

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

  1. kv96ic28 reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Well DUH!!!!!
  2. lolableu reblogged this from theatlantic
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  9. kaletam reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    If you have nothing to hide, why secret ballot?Bah.
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  16. alec-c-c-combo-breaker reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    This was my first realization when I learned of the NSA. I won’t take it just on good faith that a president who has a...
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