I would expect a competant intelligence agency to collect this kind of stuff. I would also expect a competant intelligence agency not to get caught.
By this measure the NSA is not a competant intelligence agency.
It has become sloppy because it has got used to using tame judges and politicians to cover up for its mistakes instead of avoiding making them in the first case. It has probably also become sloppy because it has grown to large and acquired too broad a brief.
This is a disaster because the NSA's incompetence has resulted in it being unable to fulfil its proper role.
By default the government has certain responsibilities - basically it is responsible for everything that we cannot do without. Where those responsibilities coincide with something that is a natural monopoly or where most providers will be "too big to be allowed to fail" (defence, law enforcement, finance) or something where market mechanisms cannot work properly (health, education, a safety net for the poor and the unfortunate) then direct state involvement is inevitable. For other necessities (eg food) the state will have to provide a degree of regulation and contingency planning. Any attempt to shrink the state beyond this inevitable (and rather large) size is a charade designed to enrich certain powerful individuals at the public expense.
Having said that there are some areas of the state I would like to shrink (because they don't fall into the categories above). The obvious example here is (so called) intellectual property.
this government, and especially the current administration, has proven that it can't run anything effectively.
Unfortunately the one thing that the government is even worse at than running something is procuring said something from a third party.
Once you add the fact that certain things are inevitably the responsibility of government then it becomes clear that the involvement of the private sector only makes things worse.
The key here is this - if something is essential then it is part of the government sector - even if it appears to be private - e.g. the banks.
The only way that helathcare can truly be private is if you regard it as non-essential - in which case the result is that the poor will die unnecessarily. That is a possible political position - but those who take it should admit it.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
I tend to believe that persons within an industry have access to information, current and historical, that inform their opinion. Thus, I believe it is a mistake to tell one who certainly has such information in hand that he/she if just plain wrong if I do not have such information so that we both talk using the same baseline of information.
Sounds plausible but..
Whenever I haved become privy to this "information" it has turned out not to be what I thought it would be.
You have to remember that such information will only be available if the person in charge takes the trouble to make it available and then only in a form that they dictate. Thus there is a high probability that the assumptions that they started with will be built into said information.
Your attitude is a recipe for willing subjugation to those who you beleive know better than you do. If the American founding fathers had taken that line the USA would have remained a British colony.
Yeah, people are going to quickly go after the digitized books and will rarely buy new ones. The Norwegian authors are going to have to hope they can make money selling outside of their own country, but more likely than not you'll start to see writing decline.
Epic failure - to repeat a previous commenter's sarcasm as a "serious" comment!