It was not that long ago that U.S. congressman Spencer Bachus, a conservative Republican from Alabama, was defending Americans' right to privacy against overreaching government surveillance.
"Technology has outrun the law," Bachus said during a July 2000 hearing. He wondered: "What level of monitoring do we, as a country, want to have on private conversations?"
Soon afterward, that House of Representatives committee took the unprecedented step of voting, by a 20-1 margin, to require police to obtain a warrant from a judge before e-mail could be read or mobile phones could be tracked. The legislation … Read more