Michael Goodwin | Snooping’s a slippery slope

A Top Israeli security official zeroed in on the American system of airline security: “You worry about what people are carrying. In Israel we worry about who the people are.”

The conversation with Avi Dichter, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency, took place three years ago, but it came roaring back to me amid reports of federal snooping on Americans’ use of phones, computers and credit cards. The sweeping collection of data on private behavior is every bit as indiscriminate and flawed as the airport-screening system.

In both, everybody is guilty until proven innocent. Because one terrorist hid a bomb in his shoe, we all must remove our shoes before flying. Because one terrorist hid a bomb in his underwear, we all are subject to X-ray- like screenings.


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