Imperial overreach

What was that about the USA not being an evil empire again?

Internet service providers must turn over customer emails and other digital content sought by U.S. government search warrants even when the information is stored overseas, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

In what appears to be the first court decision addressing the issue, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis in New York said Internet service providers such as Microsoft Corp or Google Inc cannot refuse to turn over customer information and emails stored in other countries when issued a valid search warrant from U.S. law enforcement agencies.

If U.S. agencies were required to coordinate efforts with foreign governments to secure such information, Francis said, “the burden on the government would be substantial, and law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded.”

This surveillance society concept isn’t going to end well. I would go so far as to say it is intrinsically counter-productive and plants the seeds of its own destruction. Because if the only way to end the mass spying is to crash the entire system, at some point, the costs of the system are going to outweigh its benefits for enough of the people capable of taking down the entire thing.