Even so, I can see that having any bureaucratic process will probably have some inhibiting effect, and at least it's a way of saying that unlimited surveillance isn't part of the culture.
I'm not denying that there are conscientious police and judges, but I have no idea what the proportions are. I expect that there are local cultural variations.
twistedchick said "It matters that anyone is spying on anyone. It is a rape of privacy." So I wonder, do politicians have privacy rights? I'm not just interested in their legal rights, which I think are pretty limited for public figures. Should politicians have privacy rights? No one seems to be embarrassed about, say, trying to find a politician's medical records.