SECURITY: Snoopers Due for Review

"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.'" So wrote Justice Lewis Powell, a Nixon appointee, in the 1972 Supreme Court opinion that forbade the wiretapping of domestic organizations and individuals without a court warrant. Ironically, the court issued its decree just two days after the Watergate conspirators were caught with electronic surveillance equipment in the headquarters of the Democratic National Party—a legitimate political dissent organization if there ever was one.

The twin terms...

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