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Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Privacy Rights vs Security

We've had a lot of discussions about the proper balance between individual privacy, state powwer, and security. One thing that occured to me is that we've traditionally argued about where the 'wall" should be (what things can we assume are private) and under what circumstances the state should be allowed to reach across that wall to see what is inside. This construct is the product of a time when searches were intrusive (actually going through your household, interrogations, etc).

Today, it is possible for law enforcement to gather a lot of info and do it entirely unobtrusively. There's no technical reason that your phone couldn't be tapped, your spending montored, your ovements monitored, etc. Now, what if we "moved the wall" and made all this fair game. Anything that LE could discover without the knowledge of the "targeted" individual or anyone else outside of LE would be okay. HOWEVER, the restrictions would move from "what LE is allowed to collect" to "how LE is allowed to use it." If they use it to prosecute crimes, apprehend terrorists, etc--then okay. If there's any use of this info to stifle political dissent, to pay off political cronies, etc, that would be out of bounds (and the individual allowed to sue the govt, etc for compensation, the individuals responsible would be subject to criminal sanctions, etc.

Moving from controlling the collection of info to controlling appropriate use of it is a scary idea, and I'm not saying it is a good one. But, it would increase security and do it with minimal intrusiveness.

Think of the British subway bombing investigation--within a few days they had arrested everyone involved. It was due to scary "big brother" surveilance cameras and an effective database of personal info. We've got no type of publc monitoring in the US anywhere near as effective, or as open for abuse ("Nigel, look! It's that Labor politician boarding the tube with that prostitute! Freeze that and call the Sun.") Still, we rarely hear of these abuses, because the strictures against abuse of the data (not the collection of the info itself) are very strong.
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Go troll somewhere else, Herr Fuhrer.
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Wow, straight to Nazi in one post. A record?
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem


...no technical reason that your phone couldn't be tapped, your spending montored, your ovements monitored, etc. Now, what if we "moved the wall" and made all this fair game.


...restrictions would move from "what LE is allowed to collect" to "how LE is allowed to use it."

... use it to prosecute crimes, apprehend terrorists, etc--then okay

... use of this info to stifle political dissent, to pay off political cronies, etc, that would be out of bounds

...would increase security and do it with minimal intrusiveness.

...strictures against abuse of the data (not the collection of the info itself) are very strong.
I'm terribly sorry; I was momentarily distracted: [*COUGH*Political hatchet job*COUGH*]

http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline...house_inv.html

You were saying....?
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRiP Guy
I'm terrbily sorry; I was momentarily distracted: [*COUGH*]

http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline...house_inv.html

You were saying....?
Evidently there MAY be some work to be done on developing the infrastucture needed to control the info.

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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Go troll somewhere else, Herr Fuhrer.
So much for lively debate.
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
We've had a lot of discussions about the proper balance between individual privacy, state powwer, and security. One thing that occured to me is that we've traditionally argued about where the 'wall" should be (what things can we assume are private) and under what circumstances the state should be allowed to reach across that wall to see what is inside. This construct is the product of a time when searches were intrusive (actually going through your household, interrogations, etc).

Today, it is possible for law enforcement to gather a lot of info and do it entirely unobtrusively. There's no technical reason that your phone couldn't be tapped, your spending montored, your ovements monitored, etc. Now, what if we "moved the wall" and made all this fair game. Anything that LE could discover without the knowledge of the "targeted" individual or anyone else outside of LE would be okay. HOWEVER, the restrictions would move from "what LE is allowed to collect" to "how LE is allowed to use it." If they use it to prosecute crimes, apprehend terrorists, etc--then okay. If there's any use of this info to stifle political dissent, to pay off political cronies, etc, that would be out of bounds (and the individual allowed to sue the govt, etc for compensation, the individuals responsible would be subject to criminal sanctions, etc.

Moving from controlling the collection of info to controlling appropriate use of it is a scary idea, and I'm not saying it is a good one. But, it would increase security and do it with minimal intrusiveness.

Think of the British subway bombing investigation--within a few days they had arrested everyone involved. It was due to scary "big brother" surveilance cameras and an effective database of personal info. We've got no type of publc monitoring in the US anywhere near as effective, or as open for abuse ("Nigel, look! It's that Labor politician boarding the tube with that prostitute! Freeze that and call the Sun.") Still, we rarely hear of these abuses, because the strictures against abuse of the data (not the collection of the info itself) are very strong.
Sam

My concerns are that we still are fighting the wrong war. After 9/11 we should have taken all the information that we found in afganistan and hunted down every last person who went thru bin laden and al zwahiris camps and killed them in the night. Maybe even their families. They the people who went thru the camps were there to learn how to kill innocent humans. I had no problem with taking out the Taliban. Now the fact that the fools in our congress allowed Bush to have free a free pass on heading to Iraq was done by Colin Powell, who made the speech at the UN and even the democrats pi$$ed in their pants. Oh Saddam would nuke america, yea right.
We have broken our military in Iraq, we have no help there.

By the way why is al zwahiri and bin laden still alive? Heck why is Mullah omar still walking the planet?

Bush went to Iraq for one reason, HE COULD!

We are not safer because of it.

Cameras all over cities sure , taping my phone get a warrant, my library records don't waste manpower time.

Hunt the animals down and get the heck out of the middle east!
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Sam...

IMO... very bad idea... I lived in London and did not care much about the cameras... and there are more and more around here than you might think.. but the EU has very good privacy laws, more so than we do... and if there were bombers here, there would be NO problem getting a supoena to look at thier record...

I think you have put up a strawman that need to be shot down.. the government looking through ANY of my stuff without a warrant is a violation of my rights to unreasonable search and seizure... but, we will see what the Supreme Court says...

And, BTW, the NSA program of listening to the phone calls of 'terrorists' without warrants... well, they decided to stop it and then claim that the people suing now had no standing to sue... trying NOT to get a decision on the practice... a sorry state of affairs IMO...
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 05:15 PM   #9
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Are you a closet communist, samclem? What's your relationship with the Chinese? Hmmm?
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

I'd generaly prefer to go with my libertarian streak, and err on the side of privacy and civil rights. Lest we forget, we had the goods on the 9/11 conspirators, but through a combination of bad decisions, inattention by higher-ups to subordinates, and lack of communication between gubment agencies, nothing was done...
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-13-2007, 06:23 PM   #11
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
I'd generaly prefer to go with my libertarian streak, and err on the side of privacy and civil rights. Lest we forget, we had the goods on the 9/11 conspirators, but through a combination of bad decisions, inattention by higher-ups to subordinates, and lack of communication between gubment agencies, nothing was done...
It is true that there was a lot on info on the 9/11 plot that never became knowledge, due to a failure to put the pieces together. However, there are a LOT of pieces out there, and 99% of it is just noise. It only becomes "signal" in retrospect. It is just silly to say to say "an FBI analyst even warned of the potental of flying a jet into a skyscraper"--there's almost nothing that somebody hasn't "warned" about. I think it would be interesting to give a team of analysts access to nearly everything collected, then make up an event (e.g. 10 individuals visiting the US on student visas have set off one bomb each in of five airports). I have a feeling that they would come up with linkages between individuals traveliing through those airports to known bad guys (the 5-degree-of separation-to-Kevin-Bacon game), links to suppliers of the bombmaking materials, etc. In short, I think there will be retrospective indicators of any event, even one that didn't happen.

Of course, my "modest proposal" here doesn't fix this problem, in fact it might make things worse by introducing more noise/random information. But, while inductive reasoning gets very hard with more data/noise, deductive reasoning stays relatively simple. And deduction is what you need to track down bad guys after the fact. Better than nothing.

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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security
Old 03-14-2007, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: Privacy Rights vs Security

To me, there are two "givens" in this discussion.

1. What you do in public is not private. Cameras at public places are no different than placing another member of the night watch there. A public library is - SURPRISE! - public. You want privacy - buy the book.

2. Whatever can be misused by the government - will be misused. All that's waiting to be determined is how long it takes to happen. The primary reason that we have the current impression of a sort of paternal, government (this ain't Nazi Germany) is that the current safeguards have been effective. It is flawed logic, however, to extend this to mean they ar no longer needed.
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