Sunday, January 27, 2008

Texting and Privacy

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is probably wondering just how the Free Press got a hold of his text messages, and the rest of the country is suddenly worried about their own privacy.

The telecom companies promise that they don't store text messages. Well, that's not very reassuring, given their track record.

"Phone companies are supposed to deliver our messages, not spy on them," says Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a civil liberties organization not to be confused with the Detroit newspaper that broke the Kilpatrick story. "But at every turn, these telco giants trample on basic constitutional principles of privacy and free speech. When you break the law you should face the consequences."

And just how damning are the text messages that the mayor exchanged with his chief of staff Christine Beatty? Remember, they testified under oath that they were not having an affair.

"I'm madly in love with you," Kilpatrick wrote on Oct. 3, 2002, according to the messages obtained by the Free Press.

"I hope you feel that way for a long time," Beatty replied to the mayor. "In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!"

On Oct. 16, 2002, Kilpatrick wrote Beatty: "I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love."

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