The Precedent For NSA Domestic Snooping Was Set By Abraham Lincoln In 1862

NSA lincoln bushA wax figure representing President George W. Bush is displayed near those of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (L) and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell (C) at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in New York, January 22, 2001. Because of the uncertainty of the U.S. election, Madame Tussaud’s had to speed up the preparation of the figure so it would be ready for display after the inauguration.

COLCHESTER, Vt. — BY leaking details of the National Security Agency’s data-mining program, Edward J. Snowden revealed that the government’s surveillance efforts were far more extensive than previously understood. Many commentators have deemed the government’s activities alarming and unprecedented. The N.S.A.’s program is indeed alarming — but not, from a historical perspective, unprecedented. And history suggests that we should worry less about the surveillance itself and more about when the war in whose name the surveillance is being conducted will end.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.