I can’t say that I’m the paranoid type, but this seems like good, common sense information that can help you protect your own interests. Professor Duane’s video has the most useful information for how to protect yourself in your interactions with law enforcement, while Officer Bruch’s information is more background to support Professor Duane’s contentions.
One refrain we hear, especially since 9/11 is that law enforcement needs to be made easier so that criminals can be caught more easily and more quickly.
Think for a minute, however, that some aspects of law enforcement – especially those that pertain to information gathering – really need to be, and to remain, difficult. That difficulty actually provides protection to you as a citizen from abuses that can be visited upon you by malicious, overzealous or just plain incompetent people within the investigation agencies.
The requirement to get a judge (and other third parties) to agree that there is just cause before your personal records are subpoenaed or that your phone conversations or email correspondence is monitored prevents your rights from being arbitrarily trampled upon by individuals. I suppose you can’t do much if there are systemic rights abuse issues, but that kind of situation may be correctable.
I never want to see the day when my data can be mined for potential threats and action taken against me because information gathered about me, for no other reason than that it’s available out there, can be distilled into a profile that is then used against me… oh… wait… please, we need to fix this 🙁