Programming has a spectrum of difficulty. The tools can always be improved to make the easier parts easier and the harder parts more manageable, but in the end the hard parts are hard because of the nature of the work; not due to lack of tools.
In more mature fields the spectrum of difficulty is well understood and no one expects the hard parts to be easy. If a person can write a "hello world" program then it should not be expected they will have the wherewithal to roll out healthcare.gov. If a person can apply a bandage to a skinned knee then it should not be expected they will have the wherewithal to do brain surgery; regardless of how good the tools are.
So, it's OK to drive a guy out for supporting a belief shared by 40+ percent of Americans? Is it then OK for folks who believe as he does to fire all those on the other side?
Where does that end? Let's BURN THE WITCH!
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is not a part of the judicial system and is not "some judges".
True. But maybe the article just chose poor links, because federal judge Richard Leon ruled that bulk phone record collection is illegal.
The brave new world is sorting out what companies, services, and communication mediums are subject to Common Carrier regulations. If Facebook is a common carrier, then there should be some expectation of privacy. If not, then not.
Facebook (and many service providers) are currently and deliberately in a gray zone. If they are not common carriers then they can do whatever they please with the goods (electrons, bits) that they transport because it is their own private property once you hand it to them; per the terms of service. That is good for business because people are handing over "free" stuff that the companies can turn into profits.
However, if companies are not common carriers and they own whatever is handed to them then they are subject to intellectual property violations, libel suits, fourth amendment oddities, and other violation of the law. A telephone company is not criminally prosecuted when land lines are used to break laws; a common carrier is immune to prosecution for what is transmitted. The lawsuits resulting from not being a common carrier could be bad for business.
In the long run, the market could sort this out. If some companies clearly are common carriers and some are not then consumers can decide. Or, it can stay muddled long enough for the gray area to become its own class according to judicial precedent, law, and the public.
you want to destroy a representation of the records, but keep them in storage somewhere?
I was more imagining the records fashioned into a Wicker Man style construction, with Clapper, Alexandar et al as the soft centre. I'd be tempted to do some chanting and dancing around that