In 1975 Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho sponsored legislation that put some important curbs upon the government’s ability to spy on American citizens. As a matter of policy, our national security agencies are allowed to tap into telephone calls that are made to overseas areas. No court orders are required, which is not the case for tapping into domestic communications. Church recognized that this policy gave the government broad powers in its ability to spy on American citizens. If those powers were not kept in check, government could use information from those calls for more than just national security. Specifically, government office could use that information for political purposes, and if those officials were dirty, they could use for a variety of unlawful activities, such as blackmail. The then director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, was famous for maintaining dossiers on famous Americans, like Dr. Marin Luther King, that he had in reserve to blackmail them if it served his purposes. Church called for the expunging all such phone calls that did not pertain to national security. The only way they could be “unmasking” which could only be done by high government officials in special cases. It was not intended to be a standard procedure. These laws were intended to make up for the fact that court orders were not required to tap into international calls. It's been said here that there are thousands of “unmaskings,” and that makes it right. No, it doesn’t. If the government is able to spy on its citizens with no checks and balances, those are the first steps to a police state. Americans should be concerned when unmasking is done for political purposes and sanction those office holders who engage in it.