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Ken Muldrew

Are you insinuating that there is a threshold in the ease with which someone can eavesdrop on people (whether they are communicating by email, cell phone, landline, or chatting while walking through a crowd in a busy square (cf. Frederick Forrest and Cindy Williams in _The_Conversation_) that makes that communication somehow "public"? Or are you just talking about one-to-many types of communication like Twitter and Facebook? Your addition of cell phones in the last sentence is confusing because there is a reasonable expectation of privacy with phone conversations that isn't nearly as strong in limited-broadcast forms of media (I'm pretty sure that nobody signs a cell phone contract that includes a clause that transfers ownership of communication content to the cell provider).

All packet-based forms of communication, whether between American citizens, or between persons based in the U.S. and those who are elsewhere, are currently subject to collection, archiving, and some limited form of analysis. There is no reasonable reading of the U.S. constitution that can harmonize this activity with the text of that document (within the constraints of the quaint notion that an empire does not actually create its own reality).

Lance Mannion

Ken, I'm on the fly here, so I'll just answer your questions about cells right now and get back later to respond to the others. I was thinking of how we know our cells are trackable and even rely on that and also our truly annoying habit of holding supposedly private conversations wherever and whenever the mood takes us. Government agents who want to eavesdrop on people's calls just have to sit in a restaurant or wait in line at a grocery store and they'll get more than an earful.

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