Land Lines, Where THERE IS an Expectation of Privacy

In the News You Can Use section:

I’ve commented about this before, indirectly, but with the announcement last week by the Obama Administration that in their opinion cell phone users “do not have an expectation of privacy“, I think I need to expound. You heard me right, Ariana, Kos, Obama said that, not George Bush.

To be sure, Bush used the several powers given him by the Patriot Act with discretion, even as law schools lined up to ask for his impeachment for what he might do. Bush’s big mistake throughout his presidency was in thinking his successors would be just as honorable and discreet. Clinton abused the FBI files. We all knew Obama would never give up any citizen-snooping power he could glean from the act.

Reality check: When Obama’s DOJ goes before a federal judge and argues that cell phone users (and internet email users?) should not have an expectation of privacy, that means he has already implemented the rule on the ground.

We are in the business of advising clients how to carry on their business with that aura of privacy. Much of what we know we learn from people trying to live and work in a hostile environment, such as Russias and the Middle East.

It helps if they don’t know who you are in the first place, but if they do, a land line still requires a court order. So get one. They’re inexpensive.

We’re passing this onto our various Tea Party contacts, who I believe are most in DOJ’s sights. And quite frankly, if DOJ has it, ACORN/SEIU probably have it as well.

I’ve met several times with consultants for our local phone provider, Verizon, who are trying desperately to keep the land line business going.  I just wrote their chief officer, thinking this would be a good marketing plan, unless of course they are willing to give that business up in order to stay in good stead with the Administration.