Why Should You Care If the Government Spies On Your Metadata?
The government has sought to “reassure” us that it is only tracking “metadata” such as the time and place of the calls, and not the actual content of the calls.But technology experts say that “metadata” can be more revealing than the content of your actual phone calls.
For example, the ACLU notes:
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study a few years back found that reviewing people’s social networking contacts alone was sufficient to determine their sexual orientation. Consider, metadata from email communications was sufficient to identify the mistress of then-CIA Director David Petraeus and then drive him out of office.
The “who,” “when” and “how frequently” of communications are often more revealing than what is said or written. Calls between a reporter and a government whistleblower, for example, may reveal a relationship that can be incriminating all on its own.
Electronic Frontier Foundation points out:
What [government officials] are trying to say is that disclosure of metadata—the details about phone calls, without the actual voice—isn’t a big deal, not something for Americans to get upset about if the government knows. Metadata provides enough context to know some of the most intimate details of your lives. And the government has given no assurances that this data will never be correlated with other easily obtained data.
Indeed, the government’s spying on our metadata arguably violates our right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by numerous laws and charters including the U.S. Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and international law. Spying on Americans’ metadata rolls back everything our freedom of association … and virtually everything the Founding Fathers fought for
Via Washingtons Blog