nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

A little more about surveillance

This American Life had a show about last week.

About 8 and a half minutes in, there was a bit about the surveillance of lawyers for the Guantanamo prisoners, and one of the lawyers said that if she missed a call, two numbers would show up on her phone instead of one, which apparently is a sign of a phone being tapped.

My first reaction was pure geek-- these folks doing the tapping are idiots. And I really suspect they are, though perhaps I fail to appreciate the difficulties of tapping phones that keep track of who made a call. It could have been a not-particularly subtle threat instead, but I bet it was just carelessness.

My second reaction is just.... this is bad. People need privacy. It's not just the legal angle, it's the need to have a chance to be silly or intimate or allow slack for breaking minor rules without being at risk.

And I haven't seen any discussion about independent snooping by government agents, for all that there was a scandal a while ago about IRS clerks looking up celebrity tax returns for the fun of it.

The main thing though, is that even if you aren't breaking laws that you know of now, anything can be made illegal.

Have a transcript, though This American Life doesn't guarantee the accuracy of transcripts and recommends that you listen to their show rather than read it.

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