Friday, August 2, 2013

Researching pressure cookers earned one family a visit from Homeland Security...

We often think of ourselves as living completely free and private lives, but here in the U.S. (and no doubt to some extent in all countries) that is not entirely true. Michele Catalano of Long Island, NY found out the hard way.

She and her husband were researching pressure cookers for a family recipe and the word got out. The police say that they received a tip, but it's at least as reasonable to assume they pulled her search history off the internet.

Now, fortunately for the Catalanos, their interest in pressure cookers was innocent but had it not been, many of us might feel entirely differently about the invasion of privacy. Safety versus freedom, freedom versus safety: it's an equation that is rising to the top faster than many of us realize.

The recent spate of "government secrets" being released by U.S. citizens is very likely the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. government does spy on all of its citizens, but the real question is: do we want it to; is it worth the tradeoff to avoid other 9/11-types of events?

This author remains highly-aware and concerned but undecided. How about you?

You can find in-depth information about the Catalanos and their ordeal here


  1. Gosh, I must be on their list since I own three pressure cookers!

    1. Let's hope they don't also track vegetables, Cheryl :-) On a more serious note, a friend of mine found himself on the no-fly list after he was out of the country. Had his sister not been a prominent US Senator, I'm not sure he would have been able to come back home. To this day, no one has told him how he wound up there.


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