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thinkahol on 2011-03-09An Arab country with neither secret police nor censorship is unprecedented in recent decades. Tunisia is inspiring similar demands in Egypt and Jordan. When skeptics wonder if the Revolutions of 2011 would really change anything essential in the region, they would be wise to keep an eye on these two developments in Tunisia, which, if consolidated, would represent an epochal transformation of culture and politics.
Arguably, Tunisians are now freer than Americans. The US government thinks our private emails are actually public. The FBI and NSA routinely read our email and they and other branches of the US government issue security letters in the place of warrants allowing them to tap phones and monitor whom we call, and even to call up our library records and conduct searches of our homes without telling us about it. Millions of telephone records were turned over to George W. Bush by our weaselly telecom companies. Courts allow government agents to sneak onto our property and put GPS tracking devices under our automobiles without so much as a warrant or even probable cause. Mr. Obama thinks this way of proceeding is a dandy idea.