Exactly when was the right to challenge evidence in a court of law abolished? Or are you just mad that someone with the same mindset as yourself was convicted of a crime? The Patriot Act was first used in court trying to convict a professor at a Southern Florida University for supposedly funding and cheer leading those who were advocating violence similar to 9/11. The judicial slap down is one of the main reasons the US will not prosecute the prisoners in Cuba in the US. The US should just strap parachutes on all those still held at that facility and just air drop them wherever they were first captured and be done with it. That should give you enough information to do your own damn research. In the future I suggest you drop the political blinders and take time to investigate all sides of a conflict before you start carving your stone tablets. And please stop claiming you were ever an insider in the FBI or Secret Service. If you actually had the necessary clearances you would not be announcing that on Slashdot because those level of clearances give you no wiggle room if you divulge classified information. (The Secret Service is especially vigilant about "leaks" and would most likely be at your front door within 15 minutes of posting classified information) The technology in the 90's doesn't even come close to what is available today. I hate to admit it but I actually graduated with a BS in CS, MS in CS, and BS in Mathematics. I actually witnessed first hand the progression of technologies that massively changed social interactions, business interactions, and provided the capabilities to uncover information on individuals or organizations for various purposes. There was no MS, Google, or Internet when I started my career. However when the change came it was so rapid it was almost impossible to become experts on a technology or hardware platform before something new appeared. IT Security was an afterthought at the beginning. I have been in the IT field for over 30 years, the majority of the time spent as a consultant and while I have had varying levels of security clearances I have never been slavishly beholden to a specific company, government, or technology platform for any length of time. So I may be naive about a lot of things in the world but technology and how to exploit that technology is not one of those areas. An the "breadth of the problem" is reinforced daily by excessive use of hyperbole, misguided political propaganda, and well meaning but totally biased technical associations and prominent individuals, and last but not least the millions of idiots who think their life is so important that the government has drones on station 24 hours a day over their house and are collecting every piece of electronic data and communications emanating from them. The US government and all of its various agencies give incompetence, inefficiency, and out right stupidity a whole new Wikipedia entry. All the fuss over SIGINT is so misplaced and irrelevant domestically (at least concerning the governments actors, commercial and criminal actors are quite another matter) I am sure the heads of the FSB and MSS are paralyzed on the floor laughing their assess off over this entire NSA group therapy session It was not an accident that Snowden's travels occurred in 2 countries. His complaints about US security agencies pale in comparison to the Russian agencies and the microphone and location tracker they shoved up his ass as a condition to get a Visa. I exaggerate they most like just put the devices in his food. SIGINT may help get the information needed for a drone strike but unless they start arming the Hellfires with nuclear warheads the problem isn't going away. HUMINT is still the gold standard in espionage circles. So I am not worried about the government conducting surveillance on me. There are only so many hours in the day and concerns about the NSA or CIA don't even make the top 20 things I need to deal with every day. Besides from the day I was born the US government already has my birth certificate, SSN, auto registrations, auto insurance information, marriage certificate, educational background (I used government backed low interest loans), drivers license information, property deeds, and the mother load of personal data in my yearly tax returns. I claim no allegiance to any political party because they are all a magnet for morons. I could care less about what the US intelligence agencies do over seas. About the only thing I am interested in concerning the US government is it's never ending quest to improve weapon technology, After all we will need every bit of that technology in the not so distant future.