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View Diary: Bill Maher DESTROYS the myth of Reagan (video + full transcript) (127 comments)

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  •  a couple of things to read and digest before... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Nada Lemming, chmood

    pooh poohing the folks concerned about this whole surveillance thing:

    Why Privacy Matters

    a key portion of it:

    Privacy is often threatened not by a single egregious act but by the slow accretion of a series of relatively minor acts. In this respect, privacy problems resemble certain environmental harms, which occur over time through a series of small acts by different actors. Although society is more likely to respond to a major oil spill, gradual pollution by a multitude of actors often creates worse problems.

    Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone. When the government starts monitoring the phone numbers people call, many may shrug their shoulders and say, "Ah, it's just numbers, that's all." Then the government might start monitoring some phone calls. "It's just a few phone calls, nothing more." The government might install more video cameras in public places. "So what? Some more cameras watching in a few more places. No big deal." The increase in cameras might lead to a more elaborate network of video surveillance. Satellite surveillance might be added to help track people's movements. The government might start analyzing people's bank rec­ords. "It's just my deposits and some of the bills I pay—no problem." The government may then start combing through credit-card records, then expand to Internet-service providers' records, health records, employment records, and more. Each step may seem incremental, but after a while, the government will be watching and knowing everything about us.

    "My life's an open book," people might say. "I've got nothing to hide." But now the government has large dossiers of everyone's activities, interests, reading habits, finances, and health. What if the government leaks the information to the public? What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you're likely to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your financial transactions look odd—even if you've done nothing wrong—and freezes your accounts? What if the government doesn't protect your information with adequate security, and an identity thief obtains it and uses it to defraud you? Even if you have nothing to hide, the government can cause you a lot of harm.

    "But the government doesn't want to hurt me," some might argue. In many cases, that's true, but the government can also harm people inadvertently, due to errors or carelessness.

    and also check out MB's diary tonight:

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    also, history is littered with governments behaving badly with programs like this. thinking that the US Gov't will always and forever be good and kind and benevolent is really really wishful thinking...

    The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

    by poligirl on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:08:25 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or ever was (4+ / 0-)

      One example: Elliot Spitzer.  How was his infidelity identified?  The treasury department rifling around in his bank accounts.  Their reason:  The do this all the time to protect against blackmail.  The bullshit:  They killed his career, but I haven't seen anyone else exposed under this program, and I guarantee he cant be the only one that had a problem.
      This much information on everyone has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with control.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 10:34:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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