Invasions of Privacy

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Laura Rosen hits on something that’s been bugging me about the passport story too:

Seriously, what am I missing? Isn’t there some bizarre sort of cognitive dissonance going on in seeing the reactions to the two cases? How much more intrusive is it to have federal law enforcement and intelligence scouring ordinary people’s phone records, emails, bank records than a State Department contractor sneak peaking into presidential candidates’ passport files, with the sort of information available in any credit check, and which is prompting a rush of Congressional investigations? Why do ordinary people have no recourse, no remedy, no way to demand accountability for the violation of their privacy, no recourse even to demand that they be notified the government has surveilled their communications and bank records, when the presidential candidates, who have volunteered after all for an extraordinary degree of public scrutiny to become the leader of the free world, get recourse, apologies, Congressional investigations and law suits?

It looks like the House is at least standing up for the letter of the law, if not specifically for civil rights, in its opposition to the Senate version of the RESTORE Act.  Preserving the ability of ordinary citizens to file suit against telecommunications companies that likely broke the law is a big step forward for the House.

Now, if we could only preserve the ability for ordinary citizens to sue drug companies when medications go wrong, we might be getting somewhere.