msnbc is running a piece that makes it appear as if maybe we do have something to fear in big brother [see previous post]:

” In 1999, police officers searched for individuals in the National Crime Information Center database 2 million times daily, up from the 600,000 daily transactions averaged in 1988. Likewise, wiretaps are expected to rise more than 300 percent in the next 10 years, according to the 2001 FBI budget request.
The trends will only get worse, as technology lowers the barriers that face law enforcement surveillance, said Thomas M. Cecil, a superior court judge for the county of Sacramento, Calif. “In reality, most of what we have is the illusion of openness. Today, we have de facto privacy policy because we are inefficient; probing and gathering are time consuming and expensive. That protects our privacy,” he said. ”

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