Professor Michael Pupin on the value and application of the wireless telephone: “On land, think what would happen. There would be thousands of voices traveling in all directions. There would be a babel of voices. And what a chance for long-distance eavesdropping… You see, we would never get away from it. What privacy would we have left? It’s bad enough as it is, but with the wireless telephone one could be called up at the opera, in church, in our beds. Where could one be free from interruption?” — The New York Times, December 17, 1906
Quoted in Susan J. Douglas, Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922.
Actually goes way beyond that and is rooted in the archaic FCC regulations that are based on the actual medium – copper. Cell phones are regulated as radio’s (spectrum) making them open to a whole different privacy standard (much weaker at this point) than copper based telephony.