It's not that we're expecting the post 9/11 surveillance state to trim itself back, but we did hold out hope that when surveillance programs like the NYPD's mapping of Muslims in New York were found to be way outside the bounds of what is right or legal, that those programs would be reformed. The bombshell story exposing the discriminatory and ineffective surveillance scheme came out over four years ago, and the program was reportedly disbanded two years ago - but just this week a report by the NYPD's Inspector General made it pretty clear that the program is still operational. And while old surveillance programs are still going, new surveillance keeps coming. In a controversial move, the Department of Homeland Security looks to be acquiescing to the misinformed calls for social media screening of visitors to the United States. The move has garnered criticism from a gambit of civil liberties and technology groups, who correctly point out that this is a significant expansion of surveillance collection that will have a chilling affect on free speech. And at the same time, the proposal has no reasonable hope of being effective in keeping the bad people out. The creeping expansion of surveillance that scrutinizes online speech is a hot global trend - but we must hold our government accountable to the American standard of free speech. This proposal, like some before it, doesn't do it.

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