Mass surveillance does not only violate peoples right to privacy. It is not very effective, when it comes to keeping us all safe.
And–old fashioned police work, that don’t infringe on privacy in the same way seems to be more usable and effective.
That seems reasonable. And if this is the case, moving resources from traditional police and intelligence missions to computerized mass surveillance will make us all less safe.
As in so many other areas of society, the authorities in question (and their staff) attempt to avoid real, hard work. It is much more comfortable to sit behind a computer screen, speculating about sociograms and illusive patterns.
But this might not really be about national security and counter-terrorism. It may be about surveillance of the general population. In that case, mass surveillance makes more sense. And in that case it is much worse, from a civil rights point of view.