Well, given how much of spy and police organizations' time and effort is spent protecting and bolstering commercial enterprises, and given how spy/police organizations circumvent the law by handing off activities that they are specifically prevented from doing, you can be damn sure that this stuff is going on all over the place.
In modern democratic (esp. common-law) countries, the meta-law is
1) As an individual, you're allowed to do anything you want, unless there's a law specifically making it illegal;
2) As a government, you're allowed to do nothing, unless there's a law specifically allowing you to do a particular act. (with thanks to
So, would you go to bed with me for a million dollars?
-Oh yeah, I would.
-Would you go to bed with me for a dollar?
-No way! What kind of a girl do you think I am?
-Oh, that's already been established, I'm just negotiating a price.
..in an interview, he talked about that swatting incident:
He walked out to the SWAT team, showed them his ID, and said, "You may recall that I was over at your precinct a few weeks ago, and explained that I am a Internet Security Reporter and Researcher, and it's possible that at some time in the future, you may get a phone call reporting some incident that requires a SWAT team at my home..."
The SWAT team managed to find the office that Brian had spoken to, his story checked out, they went away...