The government still gets a lot of information from Census Bureau survey mailings.
I actually love those! lol Statistics put some perspective in place, which I've always liked.
The main & most important difference is that to those I agree and diligently provide myself, whereas I've never agreed to getting my phone calls recorded. Atleast, that's just my opinion on the subject.
Unless memory fails, you are compelled to respond to the Census (and, I might add, as well one should be). My mother was a census taker many years ago and I still recall the efforts she had to document that she went to in order to contact non-responders in person, on several occasions, before she could stop trying.
I don't recall any of the outrages of the last few days involving allowing phone calls to be recorded unknowingly without what has been standard due legal process in the United States for decades now. There's a lot to be upset about, but not wiretapping, because that remains illegal by law enforcement except under extraordinary circumstances. It's never been illegal to record phone conversations if both parties are aware of the recording and either can decline to continue after that disclosure is made at the outset.
Yes, I understand & I agree. However, ever since the 'Snowden revelations' and the recent scandals, I operate with the mindset that everything
that's an electronic activity is being recorded, regardless of it's nature - phone calls, Internet browsing activity, Skype conversations, public cameras, when was street lamp XYZ-123 turned on for 3 hours six years ago, etc.
I think that phone calls being recorded and stored in compressed format for 10+ years or longer, depending on the severity of 'the list' one is on, is just a news-story waiting to happen sometime in the next 15 years.
That's why I joke that I've become kinda paranoid. Even though, to be honest, I don't have much 'to hide', be it from the government or anybody else, I see how this could become a big
problem in a different situation in the future. For example, the patron of my high school was taken away and murdered by the authorities, due to his anti-status-quo writings back in the Soviet era, and was only discovered after decades in a mass grave. He was identified by his glass eye, since almost nothing else had been left of him. And all of this for being recorded, albeit willingly, disagreeing with current practices in the nation at the time. We can see something similar nowadays in Turkey with some folks getting small punishments and in some cases even some jailtime for parodying Erdogan, the nation's president. And Turkey is actually among the pretty well-developed countries in the world. Unbelieavable!
All in all, when it comes to this topic, I don't really fear my 'dirty google searches' coming up in public, since, well, it's kinda normal - everybody does it. I do, however, realise the potential destructiveness in such power, to intercept and record electronic activity, getting in the hands of a not-so-moral government or any other organisation.
I apologize, I somewhat strayed away from your post.
Once again, thank you for your input!