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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Big Brother is Watching You

An article in Christian Science Monitor tells us that Big Brother is developing tools for a huge internet data sweep. And yes. You and I will be the unwilling guests at their party.

US plans massive data sweep

"The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity."

"The system - parts of which are operational, parts of which are still under development - is already credited with helping to foil some plots. It is the federal government's latest attempt to use broad data-collection and powerful analysis in the fight against terrorism. But by delving deeply into the digital minutiae of American life, the program is also raising concerns that the government is intruding too deeply into citizens' privacy..."

It would seem however, that there is disagreement among the intelligentsia with regard to the privacy issues inherent in such a program.

On the one hand:

"This sort of technology does protect against a real threat," says Jeffrey Ullman, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University. "If a computer suspects me of being a terrorist, but just says maybe an analyst should look at it ... well, that's no big deal. This is the type of thing we need to be willing to do, to give up a certain amount of privacy."

On the other hand:

"It isn't a bad idea, but you have to do it in a way that demonstrates its utility - and with provable privacy protection," says Latanya Sweeney, founder of the Data Privacy Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. But since speaking on privacy at the 2004 DHS workshop, she now doubts the department is building privacy into ADVISE [Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement]. "At this point, ADVISE has no funding for privacy technology."

Color me shocked. I've known since college that we were being spied on. Within weeks of attending the student march on Washington during the early seventies with her then boyfriend (now husband) my sister received a letter from the Feds.

The long and the short of it was this: "We know what you did and we have pictures. Participate in any more anti government demonstrations and all of your college funding will be yanked."

George Orwell seems to have been spot on mateys. Watch your backs.

Kinja, the weblog guide


Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

I've a feeling the other shoe has not yet dropped on the spying stuff... Bush is spying on Americans talking to Americans, and if that proves true, fur will really fly.

They will watch every move you make, we're being desensitised to this possibility.

3:32 AM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

That's the biggest issue for me. The desensitization to our basic rights as Americans. The not so subtle drive to undermine the Constitution in such a way that the average American barely notices.

7:34 AM PST  

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