Spitzer’s Lesson: Assume You’re Being Watched
Mother Davis speaks in a clear voice as she says,
I’m not engaged in any illegal activities that I know of. For one thing, I’ve got too many legal responsibilities for crime on the side. But, if I were to break the law, well, I wouldn’t do it except as an act of civil disobedience that I wanted to known.
The reason: Think what happened to Eliot Spitzer. He was heard on a wiretap. It was not a wiretap directed against him, but it involved him just the same. Consider how many connections like that you might have in your life.
The active wiretaps you’re connected to don’t even need to be justified any more, thanks to the Protect America Act. The government doesn’t even make the pretense of seeking a warrant for its spying against American citizens any more. That means that government spies just start listening to phone calls, reading emails, and installing spy software on people’s computers whenever they feel like it, whether there’s a real need in a criminal investigation or not.
I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I have as many people listening to me as were listening to Governor Spitzer has had. In fact, I might not have anyone listening to me. Maybe I just pass through other people’s zones of surveillance.
That’s not the safe bet in these days of warrantless wiretapping, though. The safe bet is to assume that you’re being wiretapped, and that anything that you say can be made public the next day, to prosecute you, or maybe to blackmail you.
Thanks to laws like the Patriot Act, the Protect America Act, and the FISA Amendments Act, there’s no such thing as privacy anymore. If you forget that, it’s at your peril.
Saying goodnight to all the little bugs,