Eroding Privacy

Imagine the outrage if 50 years ago we discovered the government was making a copy of every letter we sent. Maybe they’d say they weren’t actually reading the copies but instead just keeping them in a safe place (perhaps in that box behind the ark of the covenant at the end of Indiana Jones) so they would be available just in case they ever decided they should read your mail.

Now apply that same story to the founding fathers. I’m pretty sure George Washington himself would have led the response while Thomas Jefferson would explain this is exactly why he was not all that keen on forming a federal government to begin with. (I’ll grant you that Hamilton may very well have been in a room somewhere reading my mail.)

I think we’ve let our privacy rights erode more in the last 15 years than all of the prior years combined and nobody seems to be very upset about it. When I grew up, they told us the United States was better than the Soviet Union because over there, the government read everyone’s mail. Ugh.

I was glad to see the tech giants uniting to request reform this week but I have to admit that I think it may already be too late. People just accept these intrusions.