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A little more about surveillance - Input Junkie
June 23rd, 2013
07:13 pm


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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.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1011369.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 23rd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
As people continue to fling away their privacy with two hands on Facebook, etc, I suspect that the definition of privacy is undergoing as dynamic a change as it did in Western Europe in the 1600s.
[User Picture]
Date:June 23rd, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC)
What happened in Western Europe in the 1600s?
[User Picture]
Date:June 23rd, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
The development of privacy in the sense of the nobility having the exclusive right to retreat behind doors, instead of living publicly as they had in medieval times. (This is a vast simplification, but basically it caused a radical redesign of living spaces, among other things.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2013 01:06 pm (UTC)
I find it difficult to believe that government wiretapping is that easily detected. Those people aren't incompetent. Evil, maybe, but not incompetent.
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