America has developed a surveillance problem, hiding behind a facade of security. Britain has been down this road before, the average citizen in London is photographed 300 times per day by government, which has done nothing to reduce crime.
Thus it makes sense that a law academic from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has advice for how to repair the trust of people and foreign governments who feel violated by the administration's tactics.
The American public does not trust the federal government at a level not seen since the 1960s and early 1970s. To rebuild trust that government is for the people, and not a shadowy force creating crime to monitor, Dr. Paul Bernal recommends what seems obvious to people not rationalizing breaches of trust; surveillance minimization, where surveillance is the exception, not the rule.
Speaking at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels, Bernal's advice is timely, following on the heels of the announcement last week by American President Barack Obama that he would curb the use of bulk data collected by U.S. intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA), which almost no one believed. His speech followed widespread anger after leaks revealed the full extent of US surveillance operations, including the mass collection of electronic data from communications of private individuals and spying on foreign leaders, and most Americans refuse to accept he had no knowledge of it.