Yet another blog for spewing. This one may end up with a lot of religious and social content.


Privacy, Surveillance, and Why It Matters

I posted a bit of this in my LiveJournal a month ago. But with the new, and ongoing, revelations about the NSA data mining of phone calls (numbers and duration!), it bears repeating again and again.

A lot of conservative and right wing people are advocating that the government is right to accrete to itself more and more surveillance and domestic intelligence gathering powers, in spite of past abuses and the wiretap act. The PATRIOT Act and its sequels are just the tip of the iceberg, IMO.

The latest bit of crap about the NSA having all our phone log data is just more of the same. Especially when it turns out that those same call logs, "for terrorist tracking", are being used to "investigate leaks" by finding out who has called reporters about government misconduct! (Yes, folks, secret prisons and extraordinary rendition are misconduct!) First amendment? Whistleblower protections? Kiss them goodbye!

I have to ask anyone advocating surveillance, spying, monitoring, tracking, logging, pervasive IDs, biometrics, and all of the rest of the "nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide" type of crap to do this simple exercise:
  1. Imagine that your worst nightmare has come to pass, and the government is entirely made up of the party and politicians you hate and/or fear the most - for conservatives, think of Congress and the White House filled with Hillary and Bill Clinton clones.

  2. Imagine that this government of people you loathe has been given *all* the tools you now advocate or allow for monitoring, identification, surveillance, telephone call logging, and spying on undesirables.

  3. Imagine that this government that you loathe now considers you to be an undesirable, a terror suspect, a pesky political opponent, or otherwise anti-American.
Are you still so sure that you want to give the "government" (current and future) the authority to use these tools?

You see, you aren't just handing the good ol' boys of the Bush administration these powers, you are handing the government, in perpetuity, these powers - regardless of who is running it. If, and when, you lose your predominance, the people who you hate, and that hate you, will have the tools to make your (and your descendents) lives miserable - and you gave them to them with a cheer and a "damn straight".

Doesn't that make you feel brilliant?

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