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Phones are not an invitation to invade privacy

Suzanne Brannon, Aurora

It was great to read that State Sen. Ken Chlouber (SDN, Nov. 7) supports his constituents’ desire to maintain a right to control who enters their homes via the telephone.

I feel like I have some sort of representation for the $12.89 of federal, state and city taxes, funds, surcharges, and other government charges that are tacked on to my Qwest phone bill every month.

The cost of the basic phone service ($14.96) barely eclipses the governments’ take.

But the point I wish that Chlouber would include in his communications is that the phone service to our home is paid for by our private funds, as a result of an individual decision to subscribe to a phone service.

Private home phone service is not a public domain for free speech and is not connected to a constitutional right of the general public.

We all have different opinions on what free speech is. But in our homes, we have the right to deny the expression of material we find offensive or undesirable to our morals, our lifestyles, our values, our intellect.

We have the right to deny strangers into our homes through our doors, our televisions, our radios, our computers and our phones.

Everyone has the option of dealing with unsolicited calls, hanging up on unsolicited calls, or not answering the phone at all. Well, there is one other option – terminating the phone service and eliminating the unwanted solicitation problem all together.

But that is not practical for everyone.

For many people, the telephone is a critical communication link to the outside world.

When we chose to pay for phones, cable, Internet connections, we do so under the pretext that we can enjoy these services in the privacy of our homes.

We don’t purchase these services for the benefit of total strangers. It is not an open invitation for unwanted solicitors to invade our privacy. Some people just assume.

So I again applaud state Sen. Chlouber and the other supportive elected officials who back the do-not-call-list legislation for preserving our right to privacy.

And if solicitors insist on the right to free speech, then I move that they buy it; they should pay for the phone service (plus $12.89 in government charges), to willing homes.


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