It seems that the NYPD has used the internet to "spy" on groups and individuals. They’ve visited web sites and chat rooms, exchanged emails, and probably even sent IMs. And on the Internet, no one knew they were dogs.
Is this wrong?
Should it be wrong?
I cetainly agree that a person is entitled to keep secrets. But does a person have an expectation of secrecy for any material he places on the Web? Does a person have a right to expect that another person, met electronically, is who they say they are?
A recent NY Times story reports on NYPD activities which including building up files on persons who might be planning to disrupt things at various anti-war demonstrations. Is this evil, or good police work?
It seems that nowadays most of the big-city "peace" demonstrations are not altogether peaceful. At least a portion of the attendees are there to create mischief. Long ago, your humble scribe joined a few anti-war (Vietnam) demonstrations for that very reason, and so he is inclined to be sympathetic. But he is also inclined to be sympathetic to the police, whose job it is to prevent such mischief.
If it’s on the web, is it really a secret?-- Oliver
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