Well, it's always a slippery slope, isn't it? Fire in a crowded theater? We can both make appeals to emotionality- I could talk about attacks possible simply because someone is in the US when they send a text as a means for much more than metadata collection- but I'm not sure these appeals mean much.This is also a slippery slope. I read not too long ago about how they're using this spying for the war on drugs as well. Once we get used to all this, how long until the local police get to use this as a standard investigation tool? How long until corporations get to use this technology? They're already benefiting from its foreign use, how long until they're doing that here in America? Are they already doing it? I'm sure what we know is only the tip of the iceberg.
WHAT is far too much power? Have you ever read the user's agreement on Gmail? I'm sure lots of people can find lots of ways to do lots of things. But ignoring effective ways is only interesting to people who have no responsibility for ensuring the job is done. I'll venture to say you have no background or experience in national security, so of course it's easy for you to say "find other ways". Most people who do, though, want these things in place. And national level legislators happened to listen to them today. I'm glad they decided to listen to them, but frankly that was never in doubt anyway.This is far too much power and it will be severely and abundantly abused in the future if we don't stop it now. They can find other ways to fight terrorism.