By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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S2269325Sometimes I think this privacy thing is overrated.

The recent disclosures by computer nerd and privacy protector (and possibly, traitor), Edward Snowden over the scope of the U.S. National Security Administration’s snooping into our private communications has created a firestorm of protest. Seems everyone is horrified to learn that the NSA has been snuffling around in our private phone conversations.

I don’t want to live with Big Brother in my home, but at the same time, I kind of get it. As would any woman who has raised teenagers.

As the NSA seems to know, sometimes the best way to keep someone from doing something really stupid is to monitor their phone usage. Or their computer usage. Or their text messages. Or anything else that would give you a clue about whatever idiotic thing they’re thinking about doing next.

Moms know this. Every mother snoops on her kids. Every one. And if she says she doesn’t, she’s lying. Or she’s just given birth for the first time. But mark my words, snoop she will.

Mothers are part bloodhound by necessity. It’s in our job description to know everything we can about our kids, both to help us raise them to become productive, non-subversive adults and to help us keep them safe from their own stupidity in the process.

That’s easy enough to do when the kids are young and we can pretty much watch their every move as they’re always in view. But as they get older, it becomes harder, especially as it’s in their job description to try and deceive us so they can do whatever they want to do, even if they’ve been warned countless times about meeting a stranger whom they only know from the internet.

So as they get sneakier, so do we. I’ve read diaries, checked emails, scoured Facebook and the internet, looked at texts and recent calls on phones—you name it. And if any of my kids are waiting for an apology, it’s gonna be a long wait.

I’m not saying I think the government has the right to be all up in my everything, but if the powers that be feel it’s smart to check out phone records to prevent another 9/11, well, that may be necessary. I mean, it’s not like the people who do such things are announcing it like the coming attractions at the movies. They’re sneaky. The government has to be sneakier.

And as my mother always said, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you don’t have anything to worry about.” Truth is, I kind of feel sorry for anyone assigned to look into my phone records. Aside from hearing me scream at Comcast about once a week, it’s going to be a pretty boring job.

The bigger question for me is how did a non-college graduate with a GED get hired by the CIA and issued top security clearances? If the government is looking into anything, it should be its hiring practices. And if you ask me, Edward Snowden looks like the kind of kid whose mother should have been snooping into his phone and email. I’m just saying.

Of course privacy is important. It’s one of the basic rights upon which our country was founded. But unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. And it’s gotten much uglier over the past twelve years. If the government wants to check phone records to make sure people aren’t acting like teenagers and planning a bunch of stuff that’s going to hurt people, I think I’m okay with that.

But if they want the snooping done efficiently, hire some mothers. We’re already trained and we’re pretty good at our jobs. Especially if we’ve raised teenagers.

What are your thoughts on the NSA’s snooping? Click “comments” below and share!