By Tom Ehrich
Memo to government snoops:
As I write this, I am listening to “Maybe” by a pianist named Yiruma. He’s South Korean. Could be trouble.
Before that was a piece by Parov Stelar. He’s Austrian, you know, which means totally non-US.
I just checked email. Found a nasty comment about my latest newspaper column. You can find it on Google. This guy might be a domestic troublemaker. Watch him.
No, wait a minute, Google said it rebuffed your request for direct access to their servers. So did Apple, it seems, so much of what I say, do, photograph and write eludes your prying eyes. Sorry about that.
I will say right now that every word I write ends up on Dropbox. So if you can bully them into opening the vault, you will find the sort of treasure that makes snoops drool.
Oh, wait another minute, you say you aren’t the least interested in what US citizens are doing online. Well, why did you ask for permission to snoop on me?
If I’m not your target, why are you dumpster-diving? Surely you have better things to do than spy on taxpayers who are actually working to make this a better country.
Oops, Yiruma is back, with “Kiss the Rain.” Do you think he knows you are watching him?
Here it comes! A newsletter called the “Candle.” Surely that signals something terrible — you know, fire, flames, and all that. It’s from a Presbyterian church. We know about those Presbyterians, don’t we?
I’ll be checking Facebook soon. In fact, I’ll do it right now to help you along. OMG! Louisiana legislators shooting rubber bands. A Jewish web site. OM-double-G! A same-sex marriage. And another lesbian couple casing out Union Station in Washington. Well, maybe just posing for a picture. You’ll know what to do with this information.
I should thank you, I suppose, for creating a “Surveillance State” to keep me safe from imagined enemies. Wouldn’t Senator Joe and J. Edgar love to have had the electronic snooping tools that you have?
But you know something. I don’t feel the least bit safer knowing that you are scanning billions of cell phone logs, email accounts and computer files. In fact, you are undermining the civil liberties that make the United States of America what it is.
We should talk about it. You know my number.