A Question of Privacy

Like Pinocchio's when he lies, big Brother's nose grows ever longer — the better, seemingly, to sniff out terrorism and other serious crimes across Europe. In response to pleas by law- enforcement agencies and — particularly since Sept. 11 — the U.S. government, European legislatures have approved greater snooping powers. As the trend continues, however, there is growing concern among civil libertarians, politicians and others about the degree to which such laws are necessary, practical or consistent with fundamental human-rights guarantees.

Alarm bells began to sound in late May when the European Parliament amended the E.U.'s telecommunications...

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