The American government does seem to have wisely ended its practice of routinely seeking to listen in on the cell phone calls of friendly leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At their meeting in D.C., the two governments agreed to set up a working group. This bilateral group should consider a new approach to resolving this problem.
It's both the best of times and the worst of times for the free speech rights the network is supposed to support. To break the cycle of repression we must look more closely at the tools protesters and reporters use and ask whether they further the cause of freedom, or just make speakers more vulnerable.
America's cultural turn toward a glorification of the private and a denigration of the public has coexisted with what quite obviously is a deterioration in privacy. As individuals, we have dramatically less capacity than in earlier decades to control information about even the most personal aspects of our lives.