I can’t imagine what it must be line for U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. While she was elsewhere in the house, a maniac came to her home and opened fire, killing her son and injuring her husband. It’s something that would paralyze many of us, just the thought that someone would come to our home and murder those we love.
Now, Salas is speaking out about the horrific events. In particular, the things she thinks should be done to prevent this kind of thing.
In her first public comments since a lawyer known for his misogynistic screeds shot and killed her son and seriously injured her husband at their home, a federal judge in New Jersey called for more privacy and protections for people in her field in the face of mounting cyberthreats.
In a video statement released Monday, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas noted that serving as a judge involves “making tough calls” that sometimes leave people angry and upset. But she said judges should not have to “live in fear for our lives” because personal information, such as home addresses, can be easily obtained by anyone seeking to cause them or their families harm.
“There are companies that will sell your personal details that can be leveraged for nefarious purposes,” Salas said in the video. In my case, the monster knew where I lived and what church we attended, and had a complete dossier on me and my family. At the moment, there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable.”
Salas is, unfortunately, right. It’s not overly difficult to find where someone lives if you know what you’re doing. There are websites you can go where, for just a bit of money, one can find all kinds of personal information about someone.
Including where they live.
While this is especially problematic for someone like Salas–a judge who makes enemies on a daily basis–this lack of privacy affects all of us to some degree. Her calls for increased privacy should be heeded, but it shouldn’t be limited to judges. Instead, it should extend beyond such privileged individuals and cover all Americans.
Honestly, I’m talking for myself here, to be fair. One of my concerns is people in my line of work being targeted for violence using these exact same techniques. After all, it’s not like it hasn’t happened before.
That said, I do agree that judges should have this kind of privacy. They’re much more likely to be the target of a violent nutbar like Salas was than the average American. I just don’t think that such a risk is exclusive to them.
It’s not like the government won’t still have access to that kind of information, now is it? It’s not like they can’t find folks if they need to. I’m just saying that not everyone should be able to load up someone’s name into Google along with any other known information and figure out someone’s entire life story is all.