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But let’s suppose the NSA’s current defenders are right, that there really aren’t any hidden abuses, that we’ve made radical improvements in human nature since the Cold War era, and today’s public servants would never be tempted to misuse the treasure trove of information they’ve accumulated.
Still, if we ever had people we couldn’t trust running the government (imagine!) — what use could they make of the surveillance architecture we’re building?
As my colleague Jason Kuznicki puts it, isn't it “insane to build the working parts of a repressive police state and leave them lying around?”
At least one of the former Stasi victims interviewed by the Post agrees. Roland Brauckmann, who “was locked away for 15 months in 1982 because he printed fliers for the Protestant church and the anti-nuclear movement” said that “he trusted no government to hold on to the minutiae of his daily life.”
After all, “no one knows which kind of people will take power in the future.”