The American Bar Association’s annual technology conference was held in Chicago last week, and one session was entitled, “Tools for lawyers worried that NSA is eavesdropping on their confidential conversations.” While I think most of the conversations I hold with my clients would be pretty boring stuff for the NSA, there are a few occasions where a client consults with me as to whether certain behavior or actions may be construed as criminal in nature. When that happens, I believe both my client and I presume such conversations are protected as “attorney-client privilege.” But is that really true anymore?
The ABA session and article linked above point out that the law is so vague and changes from day to day, such that lawyers really are not certain what the law is.
I’d love to hear the thoughts of others on this topic, whether lawyers or clients. How do you feel about your government snooping? If you or your attorney took measures to stop such snooping, do you think it would make you even a larger target, giving the government the idea that you have “something to hide?”
I have to admit that the whole thing gives me the creeps. The past few years have seen an increased erosion of private citizen rights in this country. Is this just another one? When the President can broadcast to the nation that he doesn’t need to follow the law and in fact will make laws himself, does that thinking then extend to others in government who then want to control others, maybe those being you and me?
My biggest question is this: If government can snoop, then can they also plant incriminating evidence? I’m sure the answer is “yes.” If that’s the case, then no one is safe. What then makes this the land of the free? What makes this country any different than those other countries which deny human rights?
This is just too important to ignore. I think it is time to enter the conversation. Your comments would be greatly appreciated!