Most likely the biggest legal issue facing you today is one about which you are largely indifferent.
Ok, you may have a legal issue in your life that looms very large, you may have had a serious accident, been a victim of medical negligence or somehow suffered a legal wrong that has a major bearing on your life right now. However, failing that, or a very large transaction requiring substantial legal input OR you’re facing imminent threat of incarceration, my guess is that you are likely to be quite complacent about the most serious legal threat to your security. I am.
Because by far the biggest legal issue facing us as individuals in society today is privacy. Alright I get it, this threat is a first world problem in so far as you only get to worry about it once some other more basic needs have been fairly well satisfied.
But assuming your reading this on some form of computer in a relatively affluent Western democracy, all those other basics are pretty much a given. So for you privacy is a pretty big deal.
The public indifference to the revelations by Edward Snowden of the extent to which the US National Security Agency is monitoring, and gathering information from, online communications is really startling.
The best person writing on this topic for years has been John Naughton in the Observer, he’s written some excellent pieces in this area over the last few weeks, this one on Snowden in particular is well worth a read: http://goo.gl/dwYk0T and this one on the prospect of back doors into hardware is positively terrifying: http://goo.gl/tlEWhz
I was struck the other day when I heard John Kerry in Paris responding to remarks by Francois Hollande that these acts of surveillance on the citizens of its allies are not the acts of a friend. Kerry replied to the effect that the US had to balance the interests of protecting the security and privacy of its citizens. The key words there were “its citizens”, the rest of us don’t amount to a hill of beans in this balancing act.