"In the aftermath of 9/11 attacks, the US government used to scare Americans, so they would give up their privacy," Berger said before the 15th anniversary of the tragic events. "Today no one in the country questions why do people have to open their laptops in airports and allow federal agents to look into their personal documents."
In October 2011, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act that changed US privacy laws and gave more power on tracking domestic and international communications to the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Department of Defense.
Berger stressed that anti-terrorism policy seamlessly turned into a tool for taking away constitutional freedoms that US citizens used to exercise for hundreds of years.
"During [the] Obama administration, the propaganda became very successful. I don’t know who is coordinating it, but it clearly works," Berger added. "Americans cannot accept the truth that the government is not interested in keeping the country safe."
Berger emphasized that if the security measures worked as they were supposed to, the US government would not need to tighten the measures against people who release sensitive information.
In 2016, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) issued a declassified opinion stating that use of information collected by the NSA for domestic investigations satisfied constitutional standards. The FISC also gave its first approval for more NSA surveillance operations since the USA Freedom Act was passed in 2015.