Too Big to Care: The Moral Hazards of Exploding Surveillance and Imploding Accountability

35 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2016

Date Written: July 26, 2015

Abstract

In June 2014 the National Security Agency (NSA) co-opted the “too big to fail” doctrine in response to a court order instructing it to preserve evidence of its activities – a standard procedural obligation in any lawsuit. The NSA implied, though not in so many words, that it was “too big to comply” with basic legal requirements due to the size and complexity of its operations. Experts have compared this gambit to the “too big to fail” doctrine in finance, and this article will do the same while exploring the ramifications for public policy if the doctrine becomes accepted in the realm of electronic surveillance and big data.

Keywords: Surveillance, Economic Theory, National Security Agency, Telecommunications Policy

Suggested Citation

Cramer, Benjamin W., Too Big to Care: The Moral Hazards of Exploding Surveillance and Imploding Accountability (July 26, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2731354

Benjamin W. Cramer (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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