The not-so recent NSA snooping scandal coupled with the increasing acts of terror inside the U.S. ever since 9/11 happened, have some wondering what the definition of a "terrorist attack" really is.
Bruce Schneier of the Atlantic wrote that ever since the Patriot Act was created and even after the revelation that the NSA can collect pretty much everything they want from us without our consent, terms like "weapons of mass destruction" or "terrorist attacks" have dramatically changed.
The most egregious example of this are the three anti-nuclear pacifists, including an 82-year-old nun, who cut through a chain-link fence at the Oak Ridge nuclear-weapons-production facility in 2012. While they were originally arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, the government kept increasing their charges as the facility's security lapses became more embarrassing. Now the protestors have been convicted of violent crimes of terrorism -- and remain in jail.
Schneier asks how far we're willing to go after the NSA is done collecting whatever they want.
Even as the definition of terrorism broadens, we have to ask how far we will extend that arbitrary line. Already, we're using these surveillance systems in other areas. A raft of secret court rulings has recently expanded the NSA's eavesdropping powers to include "people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks."
And that's the question. How far are we willing to go?