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Who Cares If Privacy Is Slipping Away? 393

Posted by kdawson
from the going-going dept.
IAmTheDave writes, "This morning MSNBC's home page is topped by the opening story in a series, Privacy Under Attack, But Does Anybody Care? Privacy rights have been debated to death here on Slashdot, but this article attempts to understand people's ambivalence towards the decline of privacy. The article discusses how over 60 percent of Americans — while somewhat unable to quantify what exactly privacy is and what's being lost — feel a pessimism about privacy rights and their erosion. However, a meager 6-7% polled have actually taken any steps to help preserve their privacy. The article's call to action: '...everyone has secrets they don't want everyone else to know, and it's never too late to begin a discussion about how Americans' right to privacy can be protected.'"
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Who Cares If Privacy Is Slipping Away?

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  • "Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:18PM (#16454815) Journal
    No body has time to care any more, we're worked so hard we don't even have time for our children. Why would privacy matter to you when you're already tied to a mobile phone and work 15 hours a day?

    Privacy issues won't arise for the general public untill it's them directly affected. They see no reason to care untill they see what happens when they don't care.
  • Hardly surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr_dank (472072) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:19PM (#16454851) Homepage Journal
    Many people cannot see beyond their own lives and own backyards to see the big picture. Unless privacy violations are going to directly affect their lives and those they know/care about, it won't make any waves with the general population. Surveillance these days is transparent enough to make this feasible. Those that oppose these policies are made out to be shrill wackos that will dogmatically adhere to a quaint old document that is out of touch with the "post 9/11" world.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:20PM (#16454863) Journal
    This has been going on for quite a long time now. Have you ever had the cable company ask for your SSN to see if they can give you service at your new home? I asked a guy in a phone boutique in the mall about a new handset; he wanted my phone service account login information to look it up for me! I see people give away this information every day to people that they should not trust, but do trust for some reason. Awareness of loss of privacy is the problem, or rather lack of it. Many people naively expect people to be trustworthy, especially when it comes to things they are not aware of, or informed about. Sadly, I think it will be a hard fight to make people aware of the precarious position that their private data is in.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:22PM (#16454897) Journal
    Well, for United States citizens, I'd imagine that millions of soldiers who fought and most who died did so knowing that they were providing a future for their children in which the Bill of Rights would be upheld. The Revolutionary war was, in part, to protect ou privacy from English soldiers entering our homes and taking what they wanted.

    World War II saw the deaths of millions of Americans to protect our rights and privacy from the Third Reich.

    I think there have been millions of people who have died with the intent of their final efforts providing us a future were we are ensured a right to privacy.

    I think the descendants, relatives & comrades of those people do, in fact, care about our ebbing privacy. But perhaps I just haven't been properly upgraded with the most recent version of our brainwashing firmware. "All power to the centralized government!" just ain't my thing.
  • by muonzoo (106581) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:26PM (#16454969) Homepage
    I'm not convinced that everybody has "secrets" that they would want to hide. Some people do not. However, that said, it is critical to protect the right to privacy. People today likely don't care because they don't understand a very important thing: when things are off-line, manual and require manual investment of time and energy, they become less accessible and therefore, appear to be somewhat private. This is not true when searches and corelation can be automated.
    In a society that codified and archives data and facts online, protection of information can only be assured via unassailable proofs, cryptographic methods and legislation to support this right. I think this is where the media has done all of us a disservice. We should / could all benefit from this issue being presented as a serious concern, otherwise we will soon find ourselves not only without any privacy, but without any means to defend it.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:27PM (#16454987) Homepage
    Privacy issues won't arise for the general public untill it's them directly affected. They see no reason to care untill they see what happens when they don't care.

    Oh Americans are directly affected right now. They are under constant video surveillance, their government is "legally" spying on them and their friends, and their bank records are closely watched for "terrorism". We aren't allowed to protest publically if the President is affected, we aren't allowed to voice our opinions silently "in there" without a hassle and threats of police action, and we aren't allowed to protest publically w/o the threat of being added to a FBI watchlist for "Homeland Terrorism".

    So, while Americans are conditioned to believe that they are not having their privacy and freedoms infringed on, it is.
  • by Starker_Kull (896770) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:29PM (#16455023)
    ...but if you think you have no chance to stop losing your privacy, you resign yourself to it and give up. Everyone has a limited, increasingly limited, amount of spare time in their lives to worry about things other than work. The problem with "protecting your privacy" is that it is an increasingly complex, time-consuming, byzantine, and inconvienent task. You as an individual have to keep track of all the myriad ways that your privacy is being ignored or taking advantage of and spend your spare time tracking down, learning about and trying to change this. There is no "Department of Privacy", no mechanism in the government, other than individuals who have discovered that their privacy was violated bringing up individual cases in court, to stop its erosion in fact. And the most recent suggested constitutional amendments have had nothing to do with enhancing and/or extending or simply MODERNIZING the privacy rights individuals have....
  • by singingjim (957822) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:29PM (#16455025)
    We are a consumer society. Ease of commerce requires giving up a large percentage of our personal privacy. The instant you use your debit card at the grocery store you've just supplied a great many people with volumes of information about yourself. Nevermind buying stuff on the net.
  • by egarff (242535) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:35PM (#16455111)
    Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

    - Benjamin Franklin
  • My Wife (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:35PM (#16455117) Homepage
    Is a perfect example.

    She's always afraid to ask me about this stuff because I tell her the truth.

    1. You have no privacy. As a result, the average individual is one step away from character assasination whether they know it or not. It's been this way for decades now.

    2. Whatever privileges you had before are being taken away. When I explained to her that a Tivo doesn't allow her to "keep" stuff like a VHS tape among a host of other limitations and intrusions. (It's hers to enjoy in her home right? Today. Probably. But tomorrow?) Not to mention the more frequent, "TIVO's great but I wish I could give you a copy to watch. It was great." we get from TIVO owners.

    These days, "new" things are cheaper not because they are innovative, but because they are taking features and privileges away from you. It's okay though, because it's the "Free Market" in action. It's the Will Of The People.

    My question back is how is that innovative? Is the politicians promise of lower cost and greater service/features being kept? Am I any safer? Is my kid any safer?
  • by n7022c (918189) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:37PM (#16455143)
    It's interesting to see the look of shock on a sales clerk's face when they ask "Can I have your phone number please?" as they begin to ring up my purchase, and I say "No." It's particularly fun when they clerk is a nice-looking woman and instead of saying "No." I'll ask, leeringly, "Can I have YOURS?". Point: A good first step is to stop giving out seemingly inoccuous information whenever asked. JUST SAY NO.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:38PM (#16455159)

    Awareness of loss of privacy is the problem, or rather lack of it. Many people naively expect people to be trustworthy, especially when it comes to things they are not aware of, or informed about. Sadly, I think it will be a hard fight to make people aware of the precarious position that their private data is in.

    I think this entire trend is a problem, partly because of a trend towards less and less personal responsibility and partly out of a feeling of defeat in improving our government. People give out info because they assume the government protects them from abuse of this data (as they do in many other countries). Others, feel their information is already "out there" and while they know the government does not protect them, these are the same somewhat pessimistic people who have no faith in our government or in the ability to change it. I've heard comments like, "do they even count our votes anymore?" spoken in all seriousness. And honestly, I'm not sure that they do.

    The lack of concern or privacy does not surprise me because those who trust the government, assume they are protected or don't know about the privacy problems. Those that don't trust the government are the same ones who don't trust companies with their data, and they've given up on the government.

  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IdleTime (561841) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:39PM (#16455179) Journal
    Speak for yourself!

    I have been working for close to 25 years and have never accepted a position that requires more than 40hrs/week. Any company requiring you to work more, is badly managed and should be avoided at all cost.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:39PM (#16455181)
    You are mistaking "abused" for "directly affected" The examples you just stated in no way shape or form get in the way of a person's daily business or leisure activities. If you aren't protesting something then how do you even KNOW you can't protest it anymore?
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:42PM (#16455223) Journal
    Let me know when the revolution starts, I'll be busy with figuring out how to play mp3's in my car.

    Dude, this is America. You don't "figure it out", you go out and buy a new car stereo -- or more preferrably a new car -- that has an iPod dock built in. You then go out and buy a Genuine Apple iPod(tm) to plug in. Oh, and while we're at it, they aren't "mp3s" they are "tunez", also soon to be a TM of Apple. Make sure to spend several hundred $$ on Apple's iTunes (TM) for over-processed, teeny bopper, psuedo-music.

    Get it thru your head, you are NOT a citizen, you are a CONSUMER. Go consume something! Help our economy! If you don't the terrorists will win!
  • Re:Help Youself (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:44PM (#16455259) Journal
    Get a PrivaCash card or a reloadable debit card like a Green Dot one. Use a fake name, put $20 on it and have the book shipped to a friend, relative or neighbot.

    The author also sells them directly, and you can pay with cash. His reputation is worth more than your $20, so don't fear paying in cash.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:46PM (#16455281) Homepage Journal
    The thing about privacy these days, is that enough Americans are afraid of their neighbours, that the government can exploit their fear to take away privacy from everyone. Americans see what happens to people who speak out against the administration: Colin Powell, and V. Plame are prime examples of people who have had their careers destroyed because of the current administration. No one in power is fighting for the average American. Instead the government and its media mouthpieces tell Americans what they should be afraid of: veggies, terrorists, Canadian beef, and analogue TV, so their friends in industry can continue to get away with indirect murder while they rape the earths resources for their own benefit. It's a nice little racket for them.

    People tend not to take on things much bigger than them. When the leading front runner for a president to replace the one we have now, is the wife of the previous president, people should smell something is rotten in Denmark. But even if they did realize that it's fishy only two or four families have a shot at governing the country of 300,000,000 people, what's one person going to do about it if they have to work 9 hours a day just to live and eat where they are?
  • by spungebob (239871) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:46PM (#16455283)
    everyone has secrets...

    But good citizens don't have secrets! As long as the discussion keeps getting entangled with this whole issue of "keeping secrets", our right to privacy will continue to be eroded.

    Personally, I'm sick of hearing people say "It doesn't bother me because I have nothing to hide"... and believe me I've heard it a lot since you-know-when. That's not the point!

    Privacy isn't about keeping secrets - it's about being safe from intrusion and unwarranted observation. There's nothing secret about the places I go or the things I do, but that doesn't mean I'm OK with having my activities showing up in a database or on a video monitor somewhere.
  • Real Life Examples (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Massacrifice (249974) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:49PM (#16455335)
    I think most people still equate protecting your privacy with being somewhat paranoid. This attitude needs to be changed to being simply prudent about what information you are willing to divulge about yourself. There are some very simple real-life examples of times you need to choose not to let other people know what you are doing and saying, not because you are a criminal, but because somebody else could be and you dont want to expose yourself needlessly.

    I once asked my accountant about what he was going to do with the hard-drives contained in the old computers he was about to throw away. It hadn't occured to him that somebody could be digging up valuable info from what he considered scrap. It didn't take him long to realise what the risks were.

    People will in time develop sensitivity and common-sense about privacy, but they first need to be thaught about the value of information. Most ./ers already know about this because information is what we live by and for.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:49PM (#16455339) Homepage
    Yes they are effected but how directly? Has most of the US populous been pegged as a terrorist because of something they did and been interrogated/had their world turned upside-down in a home search? Have any of them had a secret of theirs become public and suffered embarrassment or legal recourse because of it? Have any of them had their rights change so dramatically that it interrupts their daily routines beyond slower entry through security checkpoints.

    Yes the things in motion do effect the citizens of the US (and others as well) but not yet to the point where it pops their little bubble of a happy world. Basically unless these violations of privacy come up and slap these people across the face HARD and knock them out of their daily grind onto their ass they're going to continue to be apathetic about it and ignore it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @01:50PM (#16455355)

    You're not ready to share that information with the rest of us? Then you can butt the hell out of my information.

    You're on the right track, but the tit-for-tat principle won't solve anything. I don't care if the president wears a web-cam-helmet 24/7 -- that still doesn't grant government the slightest moral right to spy on me. (Spying is a form of harrassment as it goes against the victim's will, i.e. an initiation of force. Does your neighbor have the right to spy on your private affairs? Why not? How is government different?)

    Anything less will be settled with guns.

    It already has been: everything government does and could possibly do is backed by the threat of force (yes, Virginia, that means guns). Force is the essence of government. (Government is defined as the organization holding the unique "right" to initiate force or threat thereof -- i.e. employ coercion -- as its means within a given territory; anyone else who does so is a criminal. That is the only objective, unambiguous definition of government that applies to all governments past, present, and future.)

    I'm just as pissed off as you are, my friend, but it was inevitable that government would eventually reach the size (measured in both revenue and power over the people) where spying on peaceful citizens is par for the course. The Bush administration certainly wasn't the first to try to spy on peaceful citizens, but they are the latest, and being the latest means holding the reigns to the most powerful government (and world empire) that has ever existed. How could it possibly have turned out any different, given the sheer size of this government? They've got to keep spending your money in order to get even more, and this is one great way to do it.

  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:00PM (#16455571) Homepage
    Has most of the US populous been pegged as a terrorist because of something they did and been interrogated/had their world turned upside-down in a home search?

    Thanks for proving that Americans are conditioned to believe that they aren't being directly affected and that as long as the government is creepily looking "from a distance" that it doesn't matter.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:00PM (#16455587)
    Paraphrased and updated:

    First they came for the communist terrorists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a communist terrorist;
    Then they came for the socialist terrorists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a socialist terrorist;
    Then they came for the trade unionist terrorists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a trade unionist terrorist;
    Then they came for the Jew terrorists, and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a Jew terrorist;
    Then they came for me--
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    You lose your Rights piece by piece. And each loss is "justified" because, after all, you don't want to support the "enemy", do you? You don't want to be a "traitor", do you?

    Fascism begins when the efficiency of the government becomes more important than the Rights of the People.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:18PM (#16455923) Homepage
    I imagine it sucks, and I'm not saying no one is being directly effected... my point is you wont start hearing a large public outcry until the generic suburban living, SUV driving, soccer-moms and single-dads with their herd of children start getting personal visits from the 3 letter agencies.
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:30PM (#16456149) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so could someone explain why it is that privacy is so important? I mean, if everyone, or the bank, or the government knows everything about everyone, they are going to know everybody's little secrets, I see that. But if they know this about everyone, they are probably going to realize that everybody _has_ these little secrets, and it's no big deal. Right?
  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:31PM (#16456169) Homepage Journal
    If you're concerned about privacy; then make sure you collect as much information as you can about your senators, congressmen, presidents, prime minsters, and other governmental lackeys. Post it all publically and advertise the fact that you have such information available to anyone that wants it.

    Once the government understands that a glass house is transparent in both directions, perhaps they will enact laws to at least protect themselves. Eventually that will lead to a greater expansion of privacy after the inevitable revolution that will follow.

    And if you're concerned about being arrested/sued for posting information about government officials, then incorporate first. Hey, other businesses can sell information about you, then as a business, you should be able to sell information about THEM.

    Show them what it's like to live in their own mousetrap.

    TTYL
    Brian C.
  • Best Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:33PM (#16456197) Homepage Journal
    I don't remember where I got this one from, but I really like it:

    "If you have nothing to hide, please take off your clothes right now."
  • Guns? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spankophile (78098) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:34PM (#16456239) Homepage
    We always hear about you Americans and your Second Amendment, and your right to bear arms.

    If your government is run by tyrants, why don't your precious militia's do something about it?
  • Re:Help Youself (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:37PM (#16456303) Journal
    I've been hearing that one for 20+ years now. IMHO, while I expect the convenience and simplicity of non-cash payment methods to further their adoption, I do not expect cash to disappear totally as an option ever. There are way too many "under the table" deals and person-to-person deals to make cash go away.

    Honestly, can you envision in the next 20 years, everyone who has a garage sale, rummage sale or lists something for sale in the paper to not accept cash?

    Besides, if you're that paranoid, then you REALLY need that book. It'll introduce you to things like anonymous debit cards; alternative mail delivery; registering property thru LLCs; ghost addresses and more.

  • by teal_ (53392) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:43PM (#16456405)
    Nowadays, you can't do anything without the possibility of somebody filming you with a cell phone camera. It won't be long before the technology is so cheap and so comoditized that every phone conversation you have is recorded and that every where you go in public is filmed and stored. Storage is so cheap now, it won't be long.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:49PM (#16456531) Homepage
    "Americans see what happens to people who speak out against the administration: Colin Powell, and V. Plame are prime examples of people who have had their careers destroyed because of the current administration."

    Don't forget, as a prominent example of why Total Surveillance is WRONG, that ex-Marine and Iraq weapons Inspector Scott Ritter was speaking out about Bush's full out lying prior to the Iraqi invasion... and was raided for kiddy porn due to an FBI investigation of his internet habits.

    Big fuss. Ritter was never asked back on TV again to speak. And the FBI dropped the case, no real reason given. I guess it was about the lack of evidence. Nice coincidence, tho, being monitored while he was speaking about Bush's lying.

    Mission fucking accomplished. Critic disarmed and ruined, thanks to TOTAL SURVEILLANCE, CITIZENS! WE NEVER LIE OR USE THIS NEW ILLEGAL MONITORING SYSTEM FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. NO. YOU CAN'T SUE US. WE DON'T EXIST. AND WE'RE NEVER WRONG. EVER. NOW SHUT UP, TINFOIL HAT WEARER.
  • Orwell? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Snodgrass (446409) on Monday October 16, 2006 @02:59PM (#16456677) Homepage
    No, not 1984, but Animal Farm.

    Every morning we wake up and the painting on the barn has changed and nobody can remember what it used to say.

    When I read that book I was so frustrated by how stupid the animals were. How could they fall for such obvious exaggerations?

    Now I'm just frustrated at the people around me. How can they fall for such obvious exaggerations?
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ColoradoAuthor (682295) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:22PM (#16457013) Homepage
    What did you expect?

    That as intelligence-gathering techniques became cheaper and easier and more accessible to the general public, that the government would pay less attention to intel-gathering activities?

    That's exactly what I would expect. Intel-gathering, as you call it, is no longer an identifying characteristic of a threatening person. Innocent people are likely to be openly engaged in photographing public places, while the real terrorists are able to gather their photos using completely hidden cameras. So I would expect a reasonable government to focus their limited resources on more fruitful activities, such as identifying, hiding, or hardening important targets. Instead, they're effectively reducing the number of watchful eyes around some targets (like photographers--and the guards being distracted by the photographers--near chemical plants), and creating brand-new, very attractive targets (like long lines at security checkpoints, or mandatory backdoors in IT systems).

  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arodland (127775) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:35PM (#16457223)
    Don't forget that anyone who is investigated as a terrorist and finds out about it, can't tell you about it.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:37PM (#16457243) Journal
    Are you one of those people who believes that nobody who photographs a bridge may be planning to blow it up? Or are you one of those people who believes that the occasional blown-up bridge is worth it, so long as your desire to take pictures of bridges is not scrutinized?

    You left out "one of those people who believes in the presumption of innocence"?

    In isolation, taking pictures of bridges, dams, national monuments, even government buildings (which frequently have some of the neatest architecture) should not arouse enough suspicion to earn a visit from a TLA(gency). Now, if PREVIOUSLY KNOWN (or apparent at the time) causes of Reasonable Suspicion exist, I don't have a problem with a casual chat with the FBI (by which I don't mean spending 16 hours under a hot light asked the same stupid questions over and over). But just taking pictures? No. Doesn't cut it.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:43PM (#16457355) Homepage
    People are presumed innocent until proven guilty, sure, but that doesn't stop the police from investigating many people who are suspected of crimes but are proven innocent over the course of the investigation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:47PM (#16457427)
    i seem to recall a government that was democratically elected in Germany sometime in the 30s...
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:55PM (#16457563) Homepage Journal
    Thanks for the explanations! You make some really good points.

    ``Second, the vast majority of people do something that some part of our society disapproves of. "So what?" you might ask. Well the thing is, if everything about your life is transparent, but everything about the lives of the wealthy is not necessarily transparent, how can someone who is not born wealthy ever successfully run for a major, political office? So where does that get us? In the same situation we have now except with even less chance of ever electing someone not born into the wealthy elite.''

    That is assuming that, if everyone's (or at least, many people's) life is transparent, people will still care about all the somethings they disapprove of.

    ``Would you like to live your entire life denying your sexuality''

    That's something that people do _now_. When your sexuality is common knowledge there's no point in trying to hide it. It might just be that more openness about sexuality will lessen the taboos that surround it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @04:05PM (#16457747)
    No, fascism begins when the distinction between "government", "state" and "people" or "nation" gets blurred. It can happen by force or entirely peacefully.

    Because when this happens, to be against the government is to be against the state, and hence against the people. Thus, to be in opposition is to be a traitor. And *then* you know you're looking at fascism.
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Monday October 16, 2006 @04:10PM (#16457835) Journal
    Of course that justification can be used as a form of intimidation. Imagine the police storming into your place of work or you family gathering to haul you off for questioning. 12 hours later you are returned exhausted and stunned and are barely given an apology but the damage to you is done (career, socially, security clearances, etc).
  • Re:"Real life" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sgt_doom (655561) on Monday October 16, 2006 @04:28PM (#16458173)
    There's always some moron out there, some uneducated lowbrow twit of an oaf, who never keeps current, who appears to live in some type of cave. Ahh, of course, a troglodytic cave dweller!

    How many of us have had our taxes screwed with now that its been outsourced? How many of us have been denied employment (actually, quite a number, many who don't know it) because of the political comments we have voiced in e-mail and in print? In a corporate hegemony, the slights and attacks come so fast and silently one simply cannot presume to know what will "get in the way of a person's daily business or leisure activities."

  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:12PM (#16458915) Homepage Journal
    "Are you one of those people who believes that nobody who photographs a bridge may be planning to blow it up? Or are you one of those people who believes that the occasional blown-up bridge is worth it, so long as your desire to take pictures of bridges is not scrutinized?"

    Honestly...yes...I am one of those people.

    I really do not fear the terrorists as much as I do the govt. invading sacred US citizen privacy and taking away our rights.

    While I am all for them trying to prevent terrorist attacks....I don't want it at the expense of my rights to privacy, and to travel and photograph whatever legally photographic object I feel like doing without any intervention or observation of the govt.

    I feel I have more of a change of dying in a car accident, than getting harmed by a terrorist.....

    I feel that if I have to give up rights I expect to 'protect' me from terrorism, then the terrorists have already won.

    I notice you appear to be female. I do find that many women I know lean way more towards being so cautious as to be willing to give up your rights...to overlook govt intrusion where it has never been in the past. I see it more in the fairer sex than I do in most men I know....can you explain why? Is it the maternal instinct working do you think?

    Not trying to troll, honestly.....just commenting on a trend I have been noticing for awhile, and curious about your answer....

  • Re:"Real life" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:23PM (#16459107) Journal
    As a non-american, I would have to say that I agree with the feds.
  • by Garrett Fox (970174) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:07PM (#16459923) Homepage
    The modern version of this "salami-slicing" progression with regards to installation of surveillance technology:

    1) We're installing cameras in selected areas for limited purposes, eg. at street intersections to catch speeders. Don't be paranoid; we'd never link 'em up into an all-purpose surveillance system.

    2) We're expanding the camera network to pedestrian areas to fight crime and, if you're in the UK, "anti-social behavio(u)r" (shudder). Don't be paranoid; it's not like we're trying to track you everywhere you go.

    3) We're linking up the cameras [usatoday.com] into a region-wide surveillance system. How can you complain? You already accepted the monitoring itself, and now we're just coordinating our law-enforcement efforts among various places and agencies. It'll help us protect you better.

    4) We're adding new software capabilities to the surveillance network, such as automatic license-plate reading, identification of "suspicious behavior," [foxnews.com] and cameras that bark orders [dailymail.co.uk]. What's wrong? You already agreed to be watched everywhere you go; now we're simply going to look a little more closely.

    5) We, who rule you, hereby exempt ourselves from monitoring. Transparency is for our side of the glass.
  • Re:Guns? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SagSaw (219314) <slashdot@nOSpAm.mmoss.org> on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:06PM (#16463089)
    If your government is run by tyrants, why don't your precious militia's do something about it?

    ...all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.

    (from the U.S. Declaration of Independence)

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