yeah, man bites dog. phones are tapped, people get arrested. phones aren't tapped, a terrorist attack happens, and everyone is up in arms crying 'why didn't you prevent it?'. some of the people who were tapped said that they 'feared blackmail'. this sounds awfully like the proverbial wife who, caught in the act of cheating in the marital alcove by her husband, shouts at him 'you don't respect my privacy, you should have knocked first'. i loathe the idea that policemen would accept backhanders from private citizens in order to sell the results of background checks that, by all means, should only be used for institutional purposes. on the other hand, i'm not going to stage an upcry in favor of a bunch of crooks who were caught red-handed, say appropriating their company's money for their own personal use (doubly serious if the company's public: would the shareholders sleep better at night if there were no wiretappings revealing that the CEOs are inflicting on them artificially reduced returns?). if someone tapped my phone, they'd get bored to death, and they'd think i'm stupid. but i would not fear any blackmail. i think the same goes for most of you.