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View Diary: Obama to call for ending bulk collection of phone data by government (64 comments)

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  •  I do think the data needs to be preserved (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Witgren, joe from Lowell, doroma

    In some fashion.

    I don't think the value of it necessarily involves data mining to prevent terrorist attacks.  I think the main value is providing data to sift through after the fact if there is a terrorist event, sort of like a paper trail for electronic voting machines.

    •  Indeed (3+ / 0-)

      There is, actually, a compelling reason why collecting and storing such data for a period of time could be valid, and you've pretty much hit the big one: as evidence after the fact.  

      I have my doubts that collecting all that data does much to prevent attacks, but being able to sift communications of suspects after a terrorist event could be crucial not only in a conviction (if the suspects are alive), but also in reconstructing how they orchestrated the attack and also perhaps in uncovering other conspirators or plans in the works.

      So, there is a value to this, but it's a fair question as to how long to keep it.  18 months seems like plenty to me.

      •  Or, alternatively (4+ / 0-)

        the data could be used against political activists and environmentalists who are in the way of Big Profit.

        The notion that only terrorists and bad actors will be the people potentially neutralized by the abuse of what should be private communications is absurd and historically ignorant.

        It's amazing - people act like the words in the 4th Amendment just don't mean anything anymore.

        •  That could be true of a lot of things. (4+ / 0-)

          Enrollment records in government programs could be used to target political opponents, too.  Maybe we shouldn't keep that data -- everyone has to sign up every time they want to use a program, and re-enroll every time they use a service.  Two hours later, the information's deleted.  Or maybe two minutes.  How long is too long?  Two seconds?

          Right now, the government can subpoena a suspect's credit card record to gather evidence of a suspect's movements or whether they purchased items used in the commission of a crime.  Are you suggesting that credit card companies should expunge their records immediately after payment as well?  After all, someone could check your data to see if you made a donation to a cause that could mark you as a political opponent or an environmental activist.

        •  So could Census data. So could disorderly conduct. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Witgren, hooper, freakofsociety

          Also, vaguely waiving your had in the direction of the Fourth Amendment in a snooty manner isn't an argument.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:45:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Or the recordings of security cameras in Boston. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hooper, freakofsociety

      Nobody was watching all of those security cameras in the vicinity of the finish line of the Boston Marathon, hoping to spot a terrorist.

      But after the fact, they went through the recordings to find the bags, and look at who left the bags, and then look to see if they could find the guys who left the bags talking to anyone else.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:43:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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