“Surveillance is a form of power,” says Lee Tien, an attorney with Electronic Frontier Foundation. “I think that we want to get the bad guys but we also understand that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ”
Tien makes an argument that in recent years the pendulum has swung away from post-9/11 panic to a more reasoned appreciation of the privacy rights of a civilized society. Courts are beginning to take a harsh look at law enforcement authority demands for such things as warrantless access to GPS tracking data. The growing clamor about the surveillance and privacy impact of drone technology is another sign, he said, that society has come to terms with the shock of 9/11.