WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States change their definition of privacy.This much is true. Technology has changed privacy from what it once was. Twenty years ago, when I bought a book I usually handed a human being a crumpled wad of green paper and wandered off with my new purchase. These days, likely as not, I'll give an anonymous computer in an undetermined location my credit card number, my name, and my address, and therefore pretty much the keys to my life. We are having to renegotiate our privacy in ways our grandparents never thought about when they were reading the Sears & Roebuck catalog while sitting in the three-holer.
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.Oh, wait! Whoah there, buddy! I was talking about civil privacy in modern business transactions over the 'net. That's what we're going to have to rethink and carefully negotiate via mutually agreed contracts and so on. Privacy from the government, on the other hand, we already negotiated 'way back in 1787. Here's how my privacy with the government works: "Nunya."
As in "Nunya business, Mister Government Man."
We worked this one out a long time ago, and it pains me to think that I need to remind you of this, what with your education and everything, but maybe you fell asleep in Civics 101. Basically, you have no business at all in my house, papers, effects, credit card bills, phone conversations, phone bills, letters, FedEx packages, garbage can contents, et fricking cetera, unless you have a nice shiny warrant based on probable cause complete with some Oath or affirmation, Mister Government Man. I don't care if you think I've been sending love letters to Osama Bin Laden; you want to read 'em, you go find yourself a judge.
You don't tell me what I need to rethink, Mister Government Man. I am an American Citizen. I am your boss. You work for me, pal, not the other way around. Don't make me come remind you.