Sunday, November 11, 2007

Say Goodbye to Privacy

"Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds." -- John Perry Barlow

A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.

Kerr's comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act ...

Alright, then. That makes me feel a lot better.

Aristotle once said, "He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude." Hopefully, I am a member of the former. I fear these dimestore security bureacrats are members of the latter. They take no solace in privacy and figure that no one else does either.

While it's becoming almost impossible to maintain any kind of privacy in our modern world with cameras on every corner, frequent shopper cards, companies selling personal info to othere companies, etc. - it's not the right tact to give the lock and key to those who have consistently shown:

- no ability to keep secrets truly secret
- a proclivity for using personal info for political purposes
- absolutely no ability to analyze the relevant terrorist data that they do obtain

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither", generally attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but there is no proof that he ever said it. It matters not. The statement is correct and certainly shows a sentiment that he would have agreed with.

It's a scary world out there but it is made even scarier by insecure tyrants who believe they hold the public's best interest at heart. No, W, I'm not talking about you (this time), but rather Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf - yet another tinpot dictator that we are propping up.


Cartoon courtesy of Chris Slane at MSNBC

5 comments:

CyberKitten said...

Oh... there are ways and means to safeguard your privacy - and your anonymity.... [grin]

Cryptography will be a growth area in the future I predict....

wunelle said...

I have an idea. Let's propose that government no longer means that these clowns have any control over other people's lives.

Scott said...

Well then they wouldn't be government at all, would they? That'd just be..... anarchy.

gasp

shrimplate said...

Okey-dokey then. Let's see what's in George and Laura's underwear drawer.

dbackdad said...

CK said, "... there are ways and means to safeguard your privacy - and your anonymity" - Certainly. And I will be availing myself of as many of them as possible. It's becoming more and more prevalent in companies I work for - especially financial ones. Whole drive encryption, e-mail encryption, anonymous search, etc.

Wunelle and Scott - The government should be a tool of the people not a tool against the people. As has been said before, conservatives say that government doesn't work and then set out to prove it by how they run it. I know Scott's stance on this - that government shouldn't be relied on for anything - but I feel there are roles that only it can serve well. My privacy just doesn't appear to be one of them.

Shrimplate said, "... what's in George and Laura's underwear drawer" - I'm guessing tighty-whities for George and granny panties for Barbara ... er, I mean Laura -- underwear personality types lol