Jacob Sullum on the Government's License to Snoop


Jason Keisling

Last week a federal appeals court said police do not need a warrant to look at cellphone records that reveal everywhere you've been. Two days later, another appeals court said the National Security Agency is breaking the law by indiscriminately collecting telephone records that show whom you call, when you call them, and how long you talk. 

On the face of it, that's one victory for government snooping and one defeat. But Jacob Sullum argues that both decisions highlight the precariousness of privacy in an age when we routinely store huge amounts of sensitive information outside our homes.