THE QUESTION

The U.S. Congress has approved broad authority for American intelligence agencies to monitor global communications that transit the U.S. Is this surveillance justified if it helps stop terrorist operations?

Posted by David Ignatius on August 8, 2007 8:31 AM

FROM THE PANEL

William M. Gumede is a former deputy editor of The Sowetan, Johannesburg. He is the author of the bestselling Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC. His new book, The Democracy Gap: AfricaŹ¼s Wasted Years, will be released in the U.S. in May, 2009.

Undermines Basis of War on Terror

The decision to grant such broad surveillance authority is bad for democracy, violates individual privacy and deals a crushing blow to civil liberties. Without oversight, it opens the door to abuse. And it is unjustified -- undermining the very democracy that the war on terror supposedly seeks to protect.

William M. Gumede South Africa | 6 COMMENTS
Aug 13, 2007 at 8:10 AM
Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University.

Track Record Doesn't Inspire Confidence

Vivian Salama USA/Middle East | 94 COMMENTS
Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish.

Just a Way to Sell Gizmos to Politicians

Ali Ettefagh Tehran, Iran | 21 COMMENTS
Bill Emmott is the former editor of The Economist magazine, a leading international current affairs publication from England. He is now an independent writer, speaker, and consultant on international affairs.

Like Torture, "If" Is the Key Word

Bill Emmott Great Britain | 15 COMMENTS
ALL PANELIST RESPONSES

READER RESPONSE

» mohammad allam | This legislation will not protect what american law makers want.but it will make america like other muslim states which completly blocked the freedom ...
» BobL-VA | For the time being Bin Laden has won the war on terror. His single attack on NY and Washington has completely transformed this society. It is not a ...
» windrider | The fatal flaw in how we deal with terrorists was to think of them as military enemies, stateless soldiers, thereby susceptible to military defeat. T...
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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.