An NYT letterwriter makes an excellent and IMO much-overlooked point:
Surveillance with a broader focus than individuals misses an important problem: translation. Everyone acknowledges the vast number of messages each and every day.
If 1 percent of just one billion messages are in another language, that is still 10 million messages. Even 1 percent of 1 percent presents a formidable, perhaps insurmountable, translation task. And the shortage of government translators, particularly for Arabic, has been widely reported.
The only conclusion one can draw is that the National Security Agency surveillance program is designed to spy primarily on English speakers.
Or do the Republicans believe that Arab terrorists would be so considerate as to carry out all their plotting in English?