"“Surveillance powers have a history of abuse in totalitarian societies,” Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told Salon. “They also have a long history of abuse in the United States, from wiretapping to new forms of digital surveillance.”
Richards also explained that American agencies have created files on dissidents and used their power to disrupt political expression.
“The most extreme case is that of the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King, in which it used evidence of an extra-marital affair he was having to attempt to convince him to kill himself,” Richards said. “Put simply, widespread unconstrained government surveillance has a huge potential for abuse and can be deeply corrosive of democratic culture, free speech, and other civil liberties.”"