We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'm waiting with bated breath for the next paranoid shoe to drop when Seymour Hersh or the NYT reveal that Viacom is conspiring with the federal government to hand the list of names over to the Justice Department so that they can determine who's been watching terrorist videos posted on YouTube.
It is always the possibilities for abuse more than probability that is worrisome. All MF readers know that the likelihood of the government being remotely interested in their YouTube habits is negligible. But when such things are possible, those who do wrongly get caught in the net often have catastrophe descend on them swiftly, and recovering damages or reputation is difficult.
Also, it is often not evil intent on the part of the Big Bad Government that is the problem, but simple incompetence, opening the door to exploitation by other players. As an example, I give you the SSN's that the VA system accidentally let loose. A powerful government doesn't have to be against you to screw you.
Assistant Village Idiot
Have to be is the practical answer since I lack the funds to hire an attorney to intercede in the matter.
On a realistic note, the internet is a public network, which means with freely available software, time,toil and skill, anyone can watch the bytes flow.