The citizenry needs to take a deep breath. As a retired special agent of the FBI with some familiarity with these types of programs, I can assure you the sky is not falling. Your rights are not being violated, and your government is lawfully trying to protect you. Trust me, the government does not have the time or resources and is not interested in monitoring communications of you setting a tee time, calling your grandmother or organizing the carpool.

However, if you are communicating with a known bad guy, that’s a different story.

Unfortunately, once again, a trusted insider-turned-leaker and the media have done a great job of raising hysteria and tipping off the bad guys regarding U.S. sources and methods. Remember that the next time a terrorist flies an airplane into a building or strikes at U.S. citizens somewhere in the world.

Jay C. Manning, Centreville