Wednesday, December 22, 2004


An odd subject for a blog, which is where you pour out your thoughts and ideas to the world for all to see. But a few things came up in the last few days that are interesting privacy issues.

The parents of a soldier killed in Iraq are suing Yahoo to open up his e-mail account to them so they can share in his thoughts and words from the last months of his life. Yahoo refuses to grant them access, because their membership agreement automatically terminates upon death, and they feel no one has a right to full access to any account members correspondences, even after their death. OK, my take on that? You know there are lots of things I don't want my father to read or see. I actually hope my friends are around for that gawdforbid day that I go, so they can get into my house and edit out the things I wouldn't want my father to find or know about.

A friend related a story of one of her friends who intuited that her live-in boyfriend was cheating on her, so she checked his cellphone logs and saw text-messages from other women arranging trysts. So yeah, he is a pig, but did she cross the line by going snooping? Would you have done the same? In a past relationship I really felt my boyfriend was cheating on me. Whenever we arrived at his house, and he had answering machine messages, he would never check them in front of me. Even when I would see the flashing light and tell him he had a message, he would fluster and say, 'oh um I'll just check it later.' You don't know how many times I felt like listening to his messages when he was in the shower or I found myself alone in his room. I never did it, and after almost a year, he finally admitted he had been cheating, and the relationship ended. You know, I don't feel like a fool, but I think I would have felt hideous about my ability to trust if I had listened to his messages behind his back.

When the police suspect someone of a crime, even murder, they have to present evidence to support their suspicions before being granted a warrant to search private property. And that's a good thing, or else they'd search people all the time.

Privacy. All the new security laws have the underlying premise that the safety of the country is more important than our individual rights to privacy. I've heard people say that if you don't have anything to hide, then you shouldn't be concerned. I totally disagree. A blog? I put these ideas and words up for anyone in the entire world to read if they want to. But if you were to read my diary or journal, I would be enraged. One of the most important aspects of society is the individual's ability to be alone in his actions, ideas, and person.

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