Trying to figure out what is bothersome

Jazz Shaw finally found it. Something about the Hastert case didn’t feel right but couldn’t pin it down until Connor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic provided the proper analogy. So evading government scrutiny is a crime. Why?.

Let’s toss in one more hypothetical from Friedersdorf just to drive the point home.

What if the government installed surveillance cameras on various streets in a municipality and then made it a crime to walk along a route that skirted those cameras?

That’s it in a nutshell.

This is behind why the extension of the PATRIOT Act caused so much rancor. The telephone records data mining effort is like the surveillance cameras and it bothers people that there is no way to get out of sight, to take another route, to avoid getting hassled for trying to avoid governmental snooping. The abuse of prosecutorial discretion in going after political enemies is a realized fear and the Hastert case is looking to be another example in such efforts. 

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