Friday, April 1, 2005

At Least Our TRASH Is Safe!

We certainly live in an upsidedown world! Under the auspices of the US Patriot Act, it is LEGAL for the government to "wiretap phones, monitor e-mail, survey medical, financial and student records, and break into homes and offices without prior notification". The government can even compel libraries to release information on the kinds of books we check out.

But, according to the Oregon Court of Appeals, law enforcement can't search through your trash WITHOUT a warrant!!

In a unanimous opinion handed down on March 30, Judge Rick T. Haselton wrote
"Defendants did not implicitly authorize anyone else to paw through their garbage and view or take items of garbage. Rather, they placed their garbage in cans by the curb with the understanding that the garbage collection company -- and only the garbage collection company -- would remove the bags from the cans and carry the bags away."
So let me get this straight. My personal privacy can be invaded in a myriad of ways UNLESS I throw something away. If I throw it away, THEN it is protected?

OK, I guess I'll store all my important documents in the trash from now on.

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