Assault on Privacy

Privacy is dead. It slipped away while Americans were bad-mouthing their politicians for failing to take appropriate action and avoid the fiscal cliff.
Source: http://goo.gl/iCP2B via Zero hedge

Let me get a few things off my chest:

But I do...
  • ask myself, do I need to learn encryption and teach it to my children and friends so that we have a reasonable expectation of privacy when sharing information with each other, not unlike those who crafted the Constitution?
  • wonder if a "reasonable expectation of privacy" is possible when the Government--Republican-controlled Congress, no less--is getting involved in citizen surveillance?

We all have a reasonable expectation of privacy, even though I deliberately share articles and web-based resources with educators around the world for which I do not. That said, I do expect that I'll be able to text my children or spouse or whomever with information that isn't encrypted, of no interest to anyone without Big Brother (a.k.a. federal government) reading over our collective shoulders. That's not considered private, shouldn't be considered private and Big Brother should butt out. If phone text messages are the equivalent under the law as "open fields," then forget it, why the heck should we have mobile devices that are monitored by the NSA or whomever without a warrant? Are we living in Russia?

In the past few weeks, the United States Federal Government, which has had trouble avoiding the fiscal cliff, has taken severe steps to infiltrate, bypass, and destroy privacy as we know it. Now, we all know that email and text messages are public. But there is a reasonable expectation that police should have to get FISA approval before doing anything. 
...if a new proposal is approved by the Senate, each and every SMS message you send will be stored in a digital archive by your phone provider... if this SMS-retention requirement makes it into law, the nearly 2.3 trillion text messages America's 321.7 million wireless subscribers send in a year would all become the property of the Federal government, stored in a repository for 2 years. (Source)
Are you kidding me? This is unbelievable. We're falling off the fiscal cliff and the concern is for increased monitoring?
Federal detectives won’t need a warrant to eavesdrop on the emails and phone calls of Americans for another five years. President Obama reauthorized an intelligence gathering bill on Sunday that puts national security over constitutional rights.
President Barack Obama inked his name over the weekend to an extension of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a George W. Bush-era legislation that has allowed the government expansive spy powers that has been considered by some to be dragnet surveillance.
FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was first signed into law in the 1970s in order to put into place rules regarding domestic spying within the United States. Upon the passing of the FAA in 2008, however, the online and over-the-phone activities of Americans became subject to sweeping, warrantless wiretapping in instances where investigators reasonably suspect US citizens to be engaged in conversation with persons located outside of the country. Read more
and
Our personal information on social media networks is being monitored by advertisers, employers, and law enforcement as online data collection is now a billion dollar industry. Today we are becoming conditioned to accept these invasions of our privacy as the new normal which will have tragic consequences for democracy.
That’s because without privacy, without the ability to be anonymous our ability to plan peaceful revolution or nonviolent social change is radically scaled back. Big corporations are big brother watching and they can block or sabotage efforts before they become public.
A massive surveillance system has been constructed in america post nine eleven. The NSA  is building an enormous spy center in Utah … collecting data including emails, phone calls text messages and perhaps now even Netflix viewing history .. so that it’s easily analyzed.
But here is what is most important to remember:
As our privacy goes by the wayside social change hinges upon privacy and in some cases even total privacy — anonymity. This goes all the way back to the Boston tea party when an anonymous activist … posted flyers around Boston that led directly to the Boston Tea Party.
In today’s America … the plan would have been shut down before it even started. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks may have been stopped before they could move civil rights into the spotlight. We might even still be fighting wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
The fight for privacy will be one of the signature battles moving forward during these uncertain times. Without privacy and the ability to remain anonymous genuine democracy will never again flourish. Read more.
And, there's more:








Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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