Government nibbling away privacy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

The last few months have been a bit rocky for personal freedom and privacy in America.

One of the big scary moments occurred when the public discovered that George Orwell&8217;s vision of &8220;big brother&8221; outlined in his book &8220;1984&8221; had come true.

Suddenly, the conspiracy theorists were proven correct: The government was, in fact, listening to our telephone calls.

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The Central Intelligence Agency apparently took it upon itself to begin gathering information on Americans&8217; telephone records.

Before that, Americans learned the federal government also sidestepped a few laws regarding government wire-tapping.

Despite the existence of a special court set up to issue warrants allowing rapid, secretive wiretaps, the National Security Agency decided to just listen in on any conversation it wanted without a warrant.

Folks, regardless of what the federal government&8217;s talking heads say that&8217;s a slightly scary concept. They justify this and other breeches of our normal rights by hiding behind our nation&8217;s fear of terrorism.

&8220;It&8217;s all for your own good,&8221; they say. &8220;You only need to worry if you&8217;re a terrorist.&8221;

Individually, the little nibbles at our privacy can almost all be explained away. But when considered collectively, they paint a rather unflattering portrait of the government&8217;s growing involvement in our lives.

Somewhere George Orwell just nodded his head in acknowledgement.