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Comment I'm Sick of Appeals to Fear (Score 5, Interesting) 715

In September, I ran the datacenter in the Houston Astrodome during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The organization I was working for (a large international organization that provides relief in disasters, hint hint) keeps data on the people who seek help private. In fact, that's their mantra. I received visits from no less than FOUR Department of Homeland Security deputies who wanted to get their hands on the refugee data, purportedly to track sexual predators. Some of these requests were polite and some were not. I've encountered similar requests within the last year for data in my corporate job as well.

It's my observation that these people will ALWAYS appeal to our base fear when they encounter barriers to getting the data they want, knowing that no one wants to aid and abet "Sexual Predators" or "Terrorists". That's why the due process laws, calling for subpoenas are in place here in the US (but for how long?) I can only hope that we can come to our senses and end this gross abuse of power. . . . Has anyone else had similar experiences? How come we never really hear much about it?

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.