||"THE RIGHT MOST VALUED BY CIVILIZED MAN" 23 described by Justice Holmes as "dirty business," 32 is indeed in danger of becoming commonplace. As early as 1949, the New Yor\ Times noted that so many wires were being tapped in New York City alone that officials hardly dared to disclose a confidence over the telephone. J. Edgar Hoover has candidly acknowledged that his agency makes use of the wire tap in special cases.33 How many such special cases exist at any given time is difficult to ascertain. How extensively wire tapping is employed by other law enforcement agencies and by private groups also defies accurate estimate. Such evidence as is available indicates the practice is extensive. It is, of course, possible to make an argument in favor of the employment of such devices, for unquestionably many crimes can be solved and many illegal acts prevented by their utilization. However, this argument proves too much, for if this Machiavellian concept becomes the basis by which law enforcement techniques are tested, privacy and many other cherished values will be but symbols of a bygone age. The founders of the Constitution readily recognized that certain dangers were to be accepted in order that certain rights might be enjoyed. In this instance a comparable choice must be made, for indiscriminate and widespread wire tapping represents wholesale disregard for privacy â€" a disregard which has as its by-products fear, timidity, and suspicion. IX. To complete the description of actions which have invaded man's right to be let alone would necessitate explorations into many other fields. It would, for example, require a discussion of non-governmental intrusions into privacy. Such intrusions arise from many sources. They stem from a press bent on sensationalism, from radio and TV commentators who delight in idle gossip, from curious neighbors, and from others who place too low a value on reputations and on the intimate details of individual life. Less directly, the right to be let alone is concerned with the actions of those who serve as self-appointed censors of public libraries, of movies and of TV shows; with those who would tell us what we may read, what we may hear, and what we may see. Full exploration of the right to be let alone would also necessitate a consideration of the concepts within the right which on occasion come into violent collision. To illustrate, freedom of communication and privacy are part of the general right with which this paper is concerned. Neither can exist within an atmosphere of restriction. At the same time it is readily recognizable that an irresponsible exercise of the communication privilege 32. Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 470 (1928). 33. For comments on this and other details in reference to wiretapping, see Emerson and Haber, Political and Civil Rights in the United States 213-224 (1952).