THE SENATE: Drifting Toward 1984

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights ended its hearings into the extent of Government surveillance of citizens last week. The hearings produced no clear-cut plans for remedial legislation. They did, however, accomplish the aim of the subcommittee's chairman, North Carolina Senator Sam J. Ervin (TIME, March 8), by dramatizing the difficulty of preserving privacy in a world drifting toward 1984.

Ervin has been plumping for an inquiry into the impact of Government data banks on individual rights since 1967, when he learned that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare was...

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