Congress decided to give the president the authority to conduct warrantless eavesdropping and surveillance against US citizens. There it is, no more, no less. Regardless of the reasons, the United States Congress has effectively flushed the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution down the toilet.
For those of you who slept through civics classes, the 4th amendment reads as such:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall
not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported
by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the persons or things to be seized.
So, because the supposed threat of Islamic extremism is so great to this country, the President has asked (no, scratch that, demanded) and the Congress has acquiesced into supplication and stripped you, me and every citizen in this country of the rights enumerated above. Note please that the world Warrant is capitalized in the sentence and it says no Warrant will be given but upon probable cause.
Ladies and gentlemen, the government of the country has been taken over by a quasi-fascist group who have expressly decided what is best for you, me and everyone else. They no longer even pretend to work for us, but rather flaunt their power and arrogance of action by letting us know they are much smarter than we are on this topic.
I don't know about you, but this isn't the country I grew up in. It's now a country run entirely on fear. Perhaps when I was young the spectre of the "Red Menace" wasn't as clearly portrayed as the Islamo-Terrorist that's waiting around the corner to blow me up. Perhaps the governments from the past didn't do a good enough job selling the fear. Perhaps it was the murder of 3000 people on 9/11 that allowed this to happen. Whatever the case, the notion that the "World has Changed since 9/11" is correct. We've become motivated and manipulated based on being frightened out of our wits.
Will the new powers given to the President effect my life in an adverse way? The hope is no it won't. The terrifying thing to me is that I simply don't know.
If you need to know why I'm a member of the ACLU, this is why.