Government surveillance

Is it acceptable for a government to monitor channels of digital information, including personal information, that pass within its borders? If a government has a legitimate interest in doing so, how may it build trust among its citizens that it is not unnecessarily monitoring their communications or collecting their personal information? When should a government have its powers in this regard limited?

In the case of the current wiretapping operatings in the U.S. (outlined in this article by Dan Mitchell in The New York Times), to what extent should people around the world be concerned that the U.S. Government may be monitoring their Internet communications?

(The NY times requires a login to read their articles online. Creating a login and password for the NY Times is free and may be done here).

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