The question before the court of appeals was whether the collection of this enormous database is "relevant" to an "authorized investigation." The problem is that the word "relevant" is ambiguous. In the section 215 telephone metadata program, however, the massive amount of information collected is not, at the time it is collected, "relevant" to any particular suspected terrorist or suspected terrorist plot.
The freedom enabled by the Internet to express one's own ideas, one's opinion of another's idea, to advocate or to disassociate with the collective views of other speakers, to associate locally and globally is unprecedented in history. This precious Internet freedom is, however, volatile around the world.
Just as the gruesome beheadings in Syria rallied a once war-weary public to support the deployment of US troops in both Iraq and Syria, the brutal assault at Charlie Hebdo could have the effect of convincing more Americans that US intelligence should keep the power they have in order to detect a similar act of violence.