And here I am doing what I said I wouldn't.
Is it going to take the US government using subpoenas and outright purchases of commercial data (which they legally cannot collect themselves) to finally convince people that maybe, just maybe, our civil liberties aren't what they once were? If the government is not allowed to collect this information directly, why is it okay if they allow private corporations to do this for them?
Yeah, I've heard the arguments before: "our government would never do (insert bad thing here)." Of course, when the government gets around to doing that, people say "it was for our own good and if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about," and yet another civil liberty falls.
The PATRIOT act was passed one and a half years ago, but since the average person sitting in McDonalds eating his clown meat hasn't noticed; he doesn't care. ("hey, they're after terrorists, not me!").
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. (I suspect most people American's wouldn't recognize the origin of that statement).