I run into people, liberals and (perhaps most regrettably) conservatives, who shrug their shoulders when I my voice concern over unconstitutional government spying on things such as email, Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, phone calls, text messages, Skype interactions, and other electronic forms of communications. For some inexplicable reason, they don’t seem very concerned since it’s all based upon electronics.
However, when I ask them if they’d be OK with a federal agent demanding to sit down with them and their best friend as they share coffee and conversation at a Panera restaurant, they all say it would not be acceptable.
If I ask them if they’d be OK with a federal agent opening every piece of mail they send just to see if there’s anything interesting written inside, they all say it would not be acceptable.
When I ask if it would be ok to have federal agents barge into their houses and listen to every conversation between the members of their family, they all say it would not be acceptable.
After asking if they would be offended to find a federal agent in the back seat of their car, listening to their cell phone conversations, they all say it would not be acceptable.
When I ask the same individuals to explain how those three examples are different from the current invasions of privacy we are experiencing, they all wake up and realize there really isn’t any difference. But when I then ask them what they’re going to do about it, the typical responses are things like, “there’s nothing I can do about”, “it is what it is”, and “it’s not right but I can’t give up my cell phone or my Internet”.
The Constitution memorializes our inherent rights. The Constitution does not carve out unwritten exceptions to those rights. The Constitution does not have waivers for certain types of technologies.
Tell me in your comments . . . what makes so many people not care when the government spying is done “electronically” and not “in person”?