Our government prefers to be opaque when it comes to telling us what it’s doing, and yet is astonished when we cherish personal privacy, and defend it with various tools including encryption.
According to former CIA analyst, Edward Snowden, a fugitive somewhere in Russia these days, our government didn’t ask permission or authority when it invaded our Google and Yahoo accounts, nor when the NSA helped conduct global surveillance programs in conjunction with pliable Telcom companies and foreign governments.
When we were a collection of colonies, English authorities sought to enforce the tax laws using “writs of assistance” to enter any house they chose, to look for “contraband,” and to demand that you help them to invade your privacy.
When we won our revolution, we wrote a bill of rights to guard against these unwarranted invasions.
But now our privacy can be compromised without physically entering a home, given modern technological “progress.”
Aldous Huxley wrote, “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”
In a fairly recent Supreme Court opinion, Riley v. California, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote that ninety percent of Americans have cell phones and they contain “a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives — from the mundane to the intimate.” Continue reading