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wundayatta's avatar

Do you think the FBI should have unfettered access to our emails?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) November 13th, 2012

Based on someone’s complaint about “harassment,” the FBI brought down the highest spy in the land and may bring down another high-up general. For what? Canoodling outside of marriage?

Is this how the FBI should be spending its time? When could the FBI have reasonably known there was nothing more to this than an affair or two?

What should be done about the agent who decided the case was being quashed when he thought it was a big political deal, and it should come out before the election? He went over his boss’ head directly to Rep Cantor in Congress. Apparently, that’s how the lid got blown off the story. This agent thought he knew something, but it was his political views that were really motivating him. Should he be punished? Should he lose his job?

Should we reign in the FBI about investigating private affairs? Can we? Or is it too late? And if it is too late, is it maybe a good thing that all our affairs will get published in the FBI newsletter?

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think the FBI should have unfettered acces. But, I do think email used at our place of employment is not our private email, but rather the email of the business. From what I understand in the Petreaus case it was government email that was used?

mazingerz88's avatar

I think in this case, it was requested. What I want to know is what exactly was the nature of the harassment that the FBI deemed it worth their time. Plain harassment from a family member or a friend should not be a case for the FBI. So it has to be something more serious in this case.

With regards to that FBI employee who contacted Cantor, I have a feeling he did something illegal. Cantor was smart enough not to have beaten the drums on that.

Btw, I’m not sure about canoodling out of marriage is the only issue here. But I seriously doubt a time in America would come when high government officials could make a request to get their mistresses top security clearance. Highly doubtful.

SpatzieLover's avatar

When government classified documents are thought to be emailed, then found on a civilian computer, I’m all for the FBI having any access they need to the head of the CIAs emails.

deni's avatar

Absolutely not, unless they need access to someones account to gain information, if, say, that person is accused of a crime. A legitimate crime.

WestRiverrat's avatar

According to the UCMJ what Petreaus did was a crime, both the adultery and not reporting it to his Superior officers. Part of getting the job of CIA head includes giving access to all your personal accounts to the people doing the vetting of the position. He had the choice of not taking the job and thus not having his emails monitored or examined.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No. Not personal Email. NO. Not without a warrant. But one should expect no privacy in corporate or government employee Emails. Most employers make it clear when you initially sign on that they own it and you are just using it.

glacial's avatar

No. And I do not agree that emails sent or received in the workplace should not be private. I think individuals should have a right to private communications, period. I do not know how we have come to this point – that it is commonplace to assume we have no right to privacy. In my opinion, the right to private communication is at least as important as the right to free speech.

Please do not tell me that various workplaces do monitor email, and that it is only safe to assume that these emails are being monitored. I know this. I am saying that I think it is wrong. In my opinion, any risk to the company through communication by its workers is by far outweighed by risk to the workers through spying by the company.

jerv's avatar

Hard to say since I’ve been more worried about the NSA’s new data center :/

For those who don’t know, it is possible to just examine data that is already out there and “tell the shape of an object by the shadow it casts”, meaning that frighteningly accurate observations can be made without any sort of actual surveillance!

Still, I would allow it… IF we have free, clear, and open access to everything the FBI is up to. We pay them, they work for us, so we are entitled. If they have stuff they want to hide (maybe, classified information) then they can choose between being fired and replaced with more wiling employees or the same sort of prosecution we non-FBI people would get for not revealing requested info to them. Since that won’t happen though, the FBI should adhere to due process.

ucme's avatar

F ace-B ook-I diots….nah, not getting mine.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They already do. Don’t kid yourself;

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