Sources: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, EFF
quote: 1. One possibility is that political officials and/or law enforcement officials could use the law for personal vendettas (e.g. someone fired your wife? wiretap them and get their dirt...)
quote: 2. A more disturbing possibility, though, is that limited selective monitoring could be used to consolidate power to a single party or coalition (e.g. what Nixon was trying to do by bugging his political rivals). Such a monitoring scheme could be carefully limited to keep it out of the public eye. And by the time the abuser completed their power grab, it would be too late -- the process of free government would already have been subverted.
quote: That same process transformed numerous governments into totalitarian regimes in the 1900s. It always began with a more limited crackdown on political rivals, then expanded to a more general police state, once the opposition had been removed. Like the U.S. at present, many of those states were caught up in a nationalist fervor, which the power-grabbers perverted to consolidate power.