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Our View: Scaling back on spying

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:

Thumbs up: A reserved one anyway, to President Barack Obama’s decision to end the government’s access to the data collected from hundreds of millions of Americans’ phones. Obama also ordered intelligence agencies to get a court order before accessing any of the data already collected. We qualify the thumbs up as “reserved” because the federal government shouldn’t have been spying on its citizens without a warrant to begin with. It’s a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Thumbs down: To Metra for several weather-related issues that have been leaving passengers either out in the cold or in overcrowded cars. In one incident, passengers were left on a platform in temperatures below zero when a particular train switched to an express service without passenger knowledge. While we appreciate that weather can cause issues for everyone, passengers are facing increased fares and should expect better, consistent train service.

Thumbs up: To author Amy Logan and former NFL running back Jarrett Payton, son of late Bears star Walter Payton, for bringing a message of caring and kindness to North Elementary in Crystal Lake. The pair spoke to the students this week, calling them all superheroes and bringing an anti-bullying message.

Thumbs down: To potholes. The recent stretch of subzero temperatures followed by the thaw opened up dangerous holes on our roads. Potholes were to blame for cars blowing out tires on Interstate 90 in Huntley. Wind, snow and cold temperatures make winter unbearable enough. Throwing car-busting potholes into the mix doesn’t seem fair.

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