Sat, 25 Apr 2009 01:24:26 +0000 – Human rights, especially the right to privacy, do not originate in Constitutions, administrative rulings or judicial decisions. Instead, rights (of any kind) are supported by a culture of rights: the simple expectation held by a majority of people that they have the right to speak, pray, and vote as they please. When government or private parties violate those rights, they also violate a cultural assumption that supports those rights; hence, public reacts and the offending party mends its ways.
And that's what worries me about the spate of recent wiretaps--whether "legally" granted or not, we are slowly eroding this culture of rights, in this case, the right to privacy.
This country has gone wiretap crazy: crooked and innocent lawmakers, and ordinary citizens, it's become so common that no one objects, let alone scrutinizes a given situation to determine if there was even a legal warrant for the tap.
It is that culture which is now eroding and fast. And whatever your political persuasion, every reader has a dog in this fight. So I would encourage you to get mad--and get busy, writing to your lawmakers and asking for change.