What’s Worse? “Stop and Frisk” or NSA Surveillance?
Posted at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 15
Marc Ambinder argues that the National Security Agency’s expansive surveillance programs “do not damage or degrade Americans’ rights” in the same way as the New York City Police Department’s “stop and frisk” tactic.
“If you have never been stopped and frisked by a cop, it might not seem like a big deal… It’s an encounter between powerless citizens and highly empowered police officers. It is scary. The confrontations are often aggressive, which is entirely appropriate from the perspective of the police officer: The person might be carrying… But I think the ‘stop and frisk’ policy is overzealous and counter-productive. And I think, in a small but tangible way, the practice harms those who come into contact with it.”
“ We have to make distinctions between what gives us the willies and what hurts or harms us… In the scheme of things, the stop and frisk policy is a greater threat to civil rights than the NSA’s bulk collection programs.”