Stark admission for loss of constitutional rights
Fox News contributor Juan Williams said his car told him it would take 17 minutes to get to church. He hadn’t asked; the car just knew where he was going.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said he has never trusted his microwave oven.
FBI director James Comey warned there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America. There is no place outside of judicial reach and with good reason, government and law enforcement can invade our private spaces. Cyber threats are enormous, he continued, and we may not be able to stay ahead of them.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks agrees. He says the CIA has lost control of its entire cyber weapons arsenal and that WikiLeaks has acquired its “hacking tools” from the black market. This cyber tech apparently allows the agency to spy on you through your PC, smartphone and even smart TV.
Those on Facebook should understand they have no reason to expect privacy protections. Mark Zuckerberg knows everything happening in your sphere of life — and every word, photo and keystroke is out there forever and available to anyone.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn thought he was having a private conversation with the Russian ambassador at Trump Tower. This silly notion proved a couple of things: Trump Tower was definitely under electronic surveillance and Flynn is too naive to be national security adviser. But he can, however, be a foreign agent lobbying on behalf of Turkey with none of our 16 spy agencies the wiser.
I don’t dispute what our FBI director asserts, I just don’t like it. Comey all too casually dismisses the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing security against unreasonable searches — and scanning my PC unbeknownst to me is a violation of my privacy rights.
Sure, Google may know where I’m going before I do, Amazon bombs me with ads catered to my shopping habits, but Big Brother needs to just stay out of it.
Occasionally I may talk to myself while driving, but except for a spiritual connection, my Jeep does not speak to me. My smartphone is pretty dumb and it would be stupid to try to hack it. Zuckerberg doesn’t know I exist. Yet I’d be crazy to think I’m off the grid.
I recently said something at a town hall meeting. Media cameras caught me and the event lives now and forever on YouTube. Fixed surveillance cams around popular stomping grounds in Old Town record my movements. Every financial transaction is plotted with time and location. The ink from hundreds of my columns and letters to editors is digitally archived.
My trail, your trail, is easily tracked. What we say, what we do may indeed be recorded. And since everything is already documented, the definition of “probable cause” becomes key, the passcode that allows continuously hacked privacy to be brought forth and revealed.
“If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear” is a platitude crafted by would-be controllers for the would-be controlled.
I fear my wine cooler may be keeping count.
Columnist Michael Raymond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.