My mother told me fifty years ago to never put in writing what I wouldn’t want to become public. She also warned me against sharing secrets over the phone. “You never know who is listening,” she said.
I thought she was a little paranoid, but I never forgot her advice. It was probably not long after the McCarthy era so I understood where she was coming from, and she alerted me to the fact that the capability is there. Besides, government surveillance of our lives isn’t exactly new. Anyone who reads spy thrillers knows that!
We aren’t a very private society. A lot of you knew I was just in Chicago because of the photo I posted on Facebook. A lot of us know TMI about Andrew Weiner because of his Tweet. Talking on cell phones is anything but secure. And emails? Martha Stewart can tell you how private they are. We pay most of our bills with debit or credit cards—your movements can be checked that way too.
I have to tell you, I hope my government is alert and monitoring emails, Twitter, phone calls, etc. We are up against a wily enemy who is smart and savvy. If giving up some of my freedom to do what I wouldn’t be doing anyway is going to make me more secure in my life, I gotta say I’m okay with it. I don’t want to be a naïve dummy: I wish the Tsarnaev boys had been monitored more closely.
I’m sounding off on Snowden without having read much about it, but one other thing ticked me off this morning: Putin considering giving Snowden asylum. Here’s a country that is repressive about free speech and human right issues, but they’re going to criticize the United States? Why are they poking us in the eye? What is the signal behind that? Not good. Not good at all.