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drhat77's avatar

even if it’s not wrong, it could be a vulnerability (perceived or real). i work in an ER, and patients labeled as “narcotic-seeking” get stigmatized horribly. to express any sort of empathy for them will lead more seasoned ER staff to deride you, chuckle at your naievte, and scoff at how easily you got sucked into their deceitful game. thus, after a couple of those mistakes, you hide any empathy you may have for those patients, and thus the cycle continues.

delirium's avatar

(I just have to say, hat, that that was an incredible answer. I can’t just GA it.)

drhat77's avatar

@delirium – thanks for the props – what is GA? general assembly? georgia? half a baby babble?

augustlan's avatar

Even though I have nothing to hide, I’d still like to believe that the government needs an actual REASON to listen in on my conversations.

drhat77's avatar

oh haha i did not look at all the topics the post was placed under.

i think the sliperry-slope argument gets good tread in this arena. constitutionally, our justice system is based on probable-cause (as determined by a judge on a case-by-case basis). in western legal systems, any precedent set is very hard to overturn (which is why the supreme court never comments on whether a fetus is a legal individual or not). the problem becomes if we set the precedent for the broad-based surveilance of private conversations without probable cause, it can be used as the foundation for more intrusive measures

gailcalled's avatar

GA is either me (Gail Ann) or Great Answer. Take your pick.

drhat77's avatar

@gail – i thought those two terms were interchangeable :-D

gailcalled's avatar

I asked LLBean to monogram some luggage for me – GAC for Gail Ann Calder. The stuff arrived with GAG nicely sewed on. Bean said that they would change it but I thought is was hilarious.So GAG I am.

(Thank you.)

robmandu's avatar

heh, Microsoft sent me a letter addressed to Bod Mandu.

AstroChuck's avatar

Who says I’m not doing anything wrong?

augustlan's avatar

@AC: Are you still in Hawaii? and if you are, why are you fluthering?

AstroChuck's avatar

Unfortunately, I returned to California last night. Now it’s back to reality and credit card bills.

Maverick's avatar

ok, back to the OP, the question is fundamentally wrong in that it is putting the onus on the individual, when really the onus should be on the governent to PROVE that they have a need to monitor you. Therefore, the question should be asked, “if I’m not doing anything wrong, then why must you watch me?”

Poser's avatar

Human beings have a fundamental right to privacy in their own homes.

Allie's avatar

If the government really wanted to listen in on my conversations the most exciting things they would hear is me and my friends talking to each other about boys (usually the same ones each time), complaining about our moms (usually hers – my mom and I get along pretty damn well), or planning when we are getting drunk next (usually before the end of the night). The rest of our conversations are pretty boring.

robmandu's avatar

If we, like @Maverick, disagree with the premise of the Question, is it then inconsistent that we allow warrantless government search at airports, random drunk driving checkpoints, etc.?

Poser's avatar


robmandu's avatar

Hmph. Not a lot of discussion here. The reason I ask this is because there are obviously a lot of people that aren’t just ambivalent, but actually happy to submit to warrantless search & seizure.

What brought this up was a news report I saw where a sheriff’s department had set up metal detectors to screen fans entering a high school football game. Those interviewed were happy as they felt safer. (In seasons past, there had been some gang violence at games.)

So, instead of addressing the cause of the problem (the actual violent youth perpetrators), enforcement was brought to the general population… and as near as I can tell, without a single law being passed.

In your opinion, is it okay to perform warrantless search & seizure for “good” reason?

drhat77's avatar

@robmandu – metal detectors at agame is totally different – no assumption of privacy ata public venue

warrantless wiretaps are a big deal, because there is an assumption of privacy on a phone conversation

robmandu's avatar

Why is there zero expectation of privacy at a public venue? Why can’t I carry <anything not already deemed illegal> made out of steel (or other predominately ferrous metal) wherever I want to go?

What if I’m just a harmless mad scientist and I keep a small hacksaw, bolt cutters, and a bone chisel on my person? Individually, none of those might attract much attention, but all together? I’d be asking for trouble, don’t you think, when attending the football game at the local high school that my property taxes help fund.

In the scenario described, the mad scientist would likely have to surrender those items, perhaps permanently, before being allowed entrance. Worst case, the mad scientist might even find herself taken into custody for questioning.

And, for a simpler reply, what about public restrooms?

Maverick's avatar

There may not be an assumption of privacy in a public venue, such as a park, there is however an assumption if annonymity, which is equally important. It is perfectly reasonable to assume, in fact it may be the very definition of “freedom” itself, that you can do things in life which are not part of the public record as being attributed to you. A surveillance nation, completely destroys this ideal. Every action, no matter how miniscule, is open for investigation. Why did you talk to that homeless person on the way home from work? Further, you are presumed to be quilty and must prove your innocence, because, afterall the camera does not lie. Surveillance of a free population is a fundamental change in a society. There is no real freedom if you must answer to someone for every minor misqueue. There is no freedom with a perpetual guardian examining your every move.

robmandu's avatar

Sorry, @drhat…. I wasn’t trying to be argumentative. (it comes naturally)

My last quip was meant to prompt you to reply and flesh out the thoughts behind your words. Poorly done.

@Maverick, nicely worded.

And here’s something I read recently that I found interesting:

A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion … senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” …

Then, elsewhere, I read an opinion where the author stated:

…the FBI is not the place to house such a capability. In fact such a capability… belongs in no badge-and-gun issuing agency because intelligence and law enforcement have two different and competing goals and outlooks; the former views data and seeks anomaly in order to preempt; the latter deals with suspects after the fact.

Domestic intelligence can be done in a way that denies no one liberty or freedom. Putting such a capability in the hands of people who view people as suspects and perpetrators has the potential to strike at our national heart and soul.

So to sum up…

> some people think improving security via warrantless search & seizure for better safety is okay regardless who does it.

> some people think that portions of the government might be better trusted to warrantless search & seizure since they’re primarily intelligence gathering, not law enforcement

> some people think that warrantless search & seizure is unconstitutional no matter what government agency does it, be it local or federal, police or agriculture committee.

Have I missed anything? Where do you stand?

augustlan's avatar

I’ll take option #3: “Warrantless search & seizure is unconstitutional no matter what government agency does it, be it local or federal, police or agriculture committee.”

robmandu's avatar

ugh. Last apology. @DrHat, when I said “Poorly worded” above, I meant that my quip was poorly worded, not yours.

I know it’s not a big deal, but I’m just interested to hear everyone’s opinion, and don’t want to be perceived as overly aggressive.

drhat77's avatar

@robmandu, and everyone else forthat matter – whenever i’m offened, i bottle it all up in a place where I can’t feel it anymore, so you should never worry about offending me. no, worry about what happens when it explodes.

also, if you are a mad scientist actually attending a high school football game, you have a lot of explaining to do for your nonsterotypical behavior.

I think also that if you tell everyone that there is a metal detector at the front gate, and if you have anything that could be a weapon, it will be removed from you, that’s okay, because everyone knows it’s happening. However, with warrantless wiretaps, you never know that your phone is being tapped. you don’t get that heads up in a public forum. so it is different in that way as well.

drhat77's avatar

@ninaprays – that part about bottling up my rage – JOKING! no concerned phone calls please

(speaking of warrantless wiretaps, my mother patrols my fluther posts – sheesh!)

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