I saw this car in the parking lobby of the hobby shop down the block and thought it was pretty cool. At first, I thought the Jeep Corporation had manufactured some Ohio-specific models and wondered how the company had managed to keep the center parts of the “Os” in place. Upon closer inspection, however, I saw that the “Ohio” grille was the creation of the car’s owner, who strategically placed a few strips of black duct tape on parts of the standard Jeep grille — which features six vertical lines — to create a message that indisputably identifies the driver as a proud Buckeye.
But Comey’s reaction also is instructive, and illustrates some apparent hypocrisy. People who worry about their privacy and governmental overreach are chided for not helping to catch the bad guys and told that if they’ve done nothing wrong they’ve got nothing to worry about — but then even the FBI director takes a basic step to protect his own privacy against unwanted intrusion. He thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong, and he doesn’t like the idea of somebody spying on him. He might rationalize it as protection against hacking by a terrorist cell, or a rogue foreign government, rather than concern about surveillance by his own government, but the principle is the same. If an unhackable iPhone might “hinder law enforcement” in certain circumstances, couldn’t a strip of black tape over a laptop webcam prove to be a hindrance at some point, too?
I’m with the privacy advocates on this one — and Comey’s own actions help to say why.