As a privacy advocate, you might have expected me to blog about the Broadwell-Petraeus-Kelley-Allen scandal, with emphasis on the federal govt’s ability or legal authority to snoop through the records of people who seemingly have committed no crime.
So how did the FBI get authorization to snoop? Well, it turns out that they really didn’t much authorization, and what they did need is all too easy to acquire.
Kade Ellis has a great write-up on PrivacySOS about how unfettered access endangers all of us. She’s preaching to the privacy choir, though, as we already know that we want a probable cause warrant standard for a lot of things where no warrant is currently required.
Keep in mind that this whole sordid affair only came out because someone in the FBI did a friend a favor when there was no clear legal justification for the FBI to get involved at all.
So whom do you know who has a friend in the FBI who could start an investigation of you? Are you okay with the FBI accessing your email accounts when you’ve done nothing illegal?
Will Congress hear us now? Will they start to worry about the privacy of their own accounts? One can only hope, but frankly, I’m not particularly optimistic that this scandal will lead to more protective legislation. I’d love to be proven wrong.