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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Your Privacy or Your Life!

Privacy is, or should be, a big deal to us Jews. After all, from the Marranos to Stalin, loose lips have sunk many of our ships, at great human cost.

As a population with more than average overseas overseas telephony, the NSA phone data mining probably involved a lot of our heimishe communications.

Now as a non-lawyer (perhaps a wannabe, but my kids have to get married y'know?), I shouldn't going to comment on the legality or illegality of these filters. But as a blogger, I'll do so anyway.

Firstly, the operative word in the Fourth Amendment is unreasonable. A vast majority of legal and public opinion in this country, including former Solicitors General and erudite lawyers, hold that data mining in the context of a war on terror is reasonable. The Fourth Amendment only criminalizes "unreasonable searches".

Secondly, the computer algorithms used in a data mining operation are about as close to a wiretap as somebody reading a rest room sign is to a peeping tom.

And what does it mean to the Jews? Very, very simple. When America's enemies are looking to nuke or bio attack a major American city, and 99% of all Borsalino and shtreimel wearing Americans live within 90 miles of Ground Zero, our privacy should be back-burnered. Our lives and American chareidi Judaism as we know it are both at stake.

When the threat passes, we can all join the ACLU.

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orthodox jews and the internet.