Declan McCullagh frequently reports on threats to privacy, so you might expect him to guard his own privacy carefully. Yet "I'm listed in the phone book," he says, "and Best Buy and CompUSA have my e-mail address to send me ads for deals on gadgets." As a journalist and photographer, McCullagh suggests, he may be "biased about privacy, because both print and photography involve using people's information and images without their permission." In this issue, he explores the upside of living in a "Database Nation" (page 26). McCullagh operates the popular e-mail list Politech, was until 2002 the Washington bureau chief for Wired News, and is now chief political correspondent for CNET's He still refuses to sign up for one of those discount cards at Safeway.

Jonathan Rauch appreciates tradition: His preferred writing instrument is an Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter, he listens to Bach and Shostakovich on a vacuum tube stereo, and he is, as he writes in "Objections to These Unions" (page 36), an admirer of Friedrich Hayek. But unlike some Hayekians, Rauch believes same-sex marriage "is a deeply conservative idea in the best sense of the word. Its natural constituency is people who believe in marriage as a stabilizing institution." Rauch's article is excerpted from his latest book, Gay Marriage (Times Books). He lives in suburban Virginia with his partner. They hope to marry, when they can.

Attorney Jarett Decker got interested in legal harassment of defense lawyers in 1995, when he wrote a piece for The New York Times about a draconian piece of legislation introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "I had to carry the bill around with me when I talked to other lawyers about it," says Decker. "People thought I was kidding." He examines some equally jaw-dropping provisions of the PATRIOT Act this month in "Criminal Representation" (page 44). Decker recently left private practice in Philadelphia to work as counsel for a government agency in Chicago.