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I don't remember a great many people rushing to the defense of the guy trying to sell Beatle's music by violating copyrights, even though he was going against a big label.
"But IBM *did* actually reform."
Really, how so?
Considering the existence of laws such as the "The Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005", the "The Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999", and various others, it seems clear that the US Congress disagrees with you.
It's on my home computer as my primary OS, next to Windows XP for anything else that I am forced to use by third parties. It is indeed embarassing... If anything it could be just a lazy guy who did this...
I mean come on... Hackers 3 is a fictional movie. Microsoft didn't swap NT with Linux in Windows 7 or anything, or used Plasma for their desktop... _'
The existence of an information database like that is a foothold for corruption and abuse - It's a total waste of money if it's not used in any way. In how many ways can you use a database containing communication of private citizens?
The first thing that comes in mind is that you can discriminate someone with it.
Think of the Facebook problems as analogous. All that information about different individuals makes for an interesting communication tool, which then became a nightmare when a public institution used it for discriminative purposes. That means the school that just recently expelled students (or otherwise penalized them) because of information found on their Facebook pages.
A government database has a couple points to keep in mind: The secrecy and security hinted in the linked article would mean that without authorization by the NSA you couldn't get confirmation about what information was in the database concerning yourself. Of course, there would be no way to remove information from the database, either. A simple and attractive option for corruption would be to sell database queries to companies seeking personal details of their employees, all in the name of "driving the economy forward."