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Old 11-19-2002, 09:33 AM   #1
Griff
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Poindexter?

Noted crazed left-winger Bill Safire (actually he was a Nixon speechwriter and normally a Republican apologist) has some interesting things to say about the collection of your personal information, by Homeland Security. His Op Ed in the NYTimes.


Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized grand database."

To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you passport application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance and you have the supersnoop's dream: a "Total Information Awareness" about every U.S. citizen.


So, Poindexter is the guy in charge of my personal information, at least they picked someone of unimpeachable integrity. There is nothing conservative about the direction this government is going.
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Old 11-19-2002, 10:46 PM   #2
slang
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Quote:
So long as the politicians have the power to reward their friends and punish their enemies, corruption is inevitable. - Harry Browne

You have more faith in the system than I do Griff, I think this will be used against political dissent from day one, no matter who the President is or which political party he/she represents.

This is frighteneing to me personally and I'm sure many other share my fears. It reeks of 1930s Nazi Germany. Its crazy that we should have more info collected on the people, we need more info on the government made more available for the people to see and use against them.
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Old 11-20-2002, 12:09 AM   #3
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I'd move out of the country, if there were only someplace better.
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Old 11-20-2002, 01:56 AM   #4
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I've been kind of hoping for the "winning the lottery and buying an island" option ...
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Old 11-20-2002, 02:20 AM   #5
Cairo
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Century purple Of course, what Bill Safire neglects to mention is the fact that all this information on us is already available to the Agencies in the form of separate databases....
"A virtual, centralized grand database" just pulls the information they already have into one streamlined database.
If you think your information was not out there years ago, you are a fool! What? Just because you didn't know that they knew your business made you fearlesss?....C'mon, Our Government doesn't know any more about you than they have known for years,
the difference is in the tracking ability.
However, they still can't track you without a Judges Court Order.
So, all this, "The sky is falling" routine is very
un-necessary and knee-jerk, people.
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Old 11-20-2002, 02:45 AM   #6
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U.S. watch list has 'taken on life of its own, FBI says
Quote:
If you think your information was not out there years ago, you are a fool!
Versions of watch list distributed to private sector and can't be corrected or updated by authorities.
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Old 11-20-2002, 07:09 AM   #7
Griff
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Quote:
Originally posted by slang



You have more faith in the system than I do Griff,
No, I don't. I meant to put the sarcasm tags around that Poindexter endorsement.
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Old 11-20-2002, 07:45 AM   #8
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Would be fun to be a techie for them.

<Joe> Hey, Bob! You up for some pizza?
<Bob> Mmm...Pizza! Sounds good!
<Joe> Okay! Lemme grab some cash. SELECT CC_Name, CC_Number, CC_Expire FROM bigScaryTable WHERE lastname LIKE, eh...'G%' ORDER BY, say, petName DESC...

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Old 11-20-2002, 08:01 AM   #9
slang
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Quote:
So, all this, "The sky is falling" routine is very un-necessary and knee-jerk, people.
<h4>I disagree Cairo, I'd like to explain why</h4>

This is based mainly on intuition because I cant find a copy of the complete bill online, but you may be able to relate. If I missed the bus, by all means , tell me, I dont want to believe this is a real big deal. There are some concerns I can't ignore though.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cairo
Century purple Of course, what Bill Safire neglects to mention is the fact that all this information on us is already available to the Agencies in the form of separate databases....

"A virtual, centralized grand database" just pulls the information they already have into one streamlined database.
Having all the data in one database allows the Homeland Security Bureau to create "redflags" for specific activities, locations, etc. A redflag to me would be a list of normal purchases or activities that have lead to a certain crime or activity in the past or that seem "suspicious" to someone. The actual formation of what constitutes a redflag is important. For instance, if you buy a box of garbage bags, and an axe, and some rags, and some heavy duty floor cleaner from a local dept store, that might seem suspicious. If you happened to buy them at 3 am, it might seem all that much more suspicious. Did you just kill your wife and now you're looking to do a little cleanup, or is there another perfectly reasonable explaination for buying these specific things together? What can I expect them to deem suspicious?

Being on a <a href="http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/091102/loc_mussarra.shtml"> watchlist </A>doesn't necessarily damage a person or their reputation, but I would lean towards it not helping you. Who exactly would have access to their intell? What penalties are there for sharing that information with an unauthorized entity? What are the realistic chances that a citizen would find effective recourse should there be a breech? Theoretically, can my friend's wife, who works for the BHS, use the information from the bureau against me if I piss them off somehow? Do you doubt this happens now with smaller agencies? I dont, but that's just my opinion. Maybe I've overlooked the details, but I'd like to know. I also think battling this BHS through the legal system for indiscretions would be impossible. In my opinion, it's a bad idea and we need to just clean up the old intrusive agencies instead of making a new enormous one.

Add to that the fact that often law enforcement, particularly Federal, tend to be a bit aggressive and you have potential abuses from the "ground troops". The <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1014-03.htm">FBI</A>, DEA, and <a href="http://www.flinthills.com/~jalee/batf.html">BATF</a> are well known for being heavy handed, or at least quick to assert their authority without just legal cause. Giving them the political momentum of being a part of this glorious new bureau to save us all won't help. I think it's a bad idea.

I'm specifically curious how the BHS will address the "right wing extremists" that were said to be more dangerous than international terrorists. The resources of the FBI have been<a href="http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress99/freehct2.htm"> diverted </a>more into pursuing RWEs, so much so that they may very well have missed warnings of Islamic terrorism that led to the 911 attacks. It can reasonably be said in this case that while the FBI was
<a href="http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28400">chasing</A> after those <B>preparing</B> for Armageddon, it completely ignored those attempting to <B>start</B> Armageddon. Many of the RWEs challenge the Federal government and the tax "authorities". I understand they may be threatened by this, but is a tax protester more dangerous than an islamic terrorist wanting to meet his virgins in the afterlife? This whole bill makes me wonder exactly what will be required for someone to be catagorized as being a potential "home grown" right wing terrorist.


Quote:
[B ]If you think your information was not out there years ago, you are a fool! What? Just because you didn't know that they knew your business made you fearlesss?....C'mon, Our Government doesn't know any more about you than they have known for years, the difference is in the tracking ability.[/b]
True, but now they're on a mission. The defense of the country, individuals be dammned.
Quote:
However, they still can't track you without a Judges Court Order.
This doesnt give me any comfort. Even if this is done in the beggining of the bureau's creation, it may very well erode as other safeguards have before it. Some great "emergency" will set a precedence and we'll see the same incrimental encroachment we see throughout government. Eventually I wont be able to scratch my ass without having some BHS or other agency taking notes. I don't like it.

<a href="http://hsc.house.gov/legislation/final.asp"> Anyway, here's an official outline of the bill from the US House </A><br>

Last edited by slang; 11-20-2002 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 11-21-2002, 12:45 AM   #10
Cairo
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Hi Nic Name,
The unwillingness of our Agencies to share information is exactly the reason 9/11 was not stopped! The FBI and CIA are notorious for hoarding their "dots" to themselves, hoping to collar alone and recieve all the glory.
Wake up call after 9/11 has taught us that having the "dots" and "connecting the dots" are two different outcome realities, Homeland Security will
"connect the dots", and save American lives....
and the FBI is pissed that they have to share????
They can just pick up their ball, and bite me!
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:09 AM   #11
Nic Name
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Hey, I'm on your side guys.

Like y'all, I just hope we don't set up a KGB to secure us against UBL.

We just spent half a century resisting that system in the Soviet Union.
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:21 AM   #12
hermit22
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I'd suggest that the reason right wing extremist groups were the target of so much FBI scrutiny is twofold: a) we can understand them as they're not of a different culture (maybe a subculture) and b) al Qaeda was not taken as seriously as it should have been. We underestimated their ability to target and carry out missions on our soil. Remember as well that up until 9/11, the largest terrorist attack on our soil was from Timothy McVeigh, who is very much a right wing extremist.

As for the justification for Homeland Security... I don't think it's necessarily correct that we need to create more bureacracy to combat terrorism. I think we need to streamline things. We need to follow a similar approach as terrorists do in organizational and attack structure. Obviously, we cannot allow for autonomous cells inside our government, but you can't fight a network with a monolithic structure. However, I do think that the information sharing strategies can be good for our fight against terrorism. On the other hand, they can be horrific for our privacy.

I'm going to stop here, because I just finished an entirely too long paper, part of which was on this networked approach (netwar). I don't want to get going on this topic and end up on some mindless ramble.
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:21 AM   #13
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Hey, just think of the potential benefits of hacking into this combined database. Talk about a honeypot for Chinese spies!
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:37 AM   #14
Nic Name
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Doesn't it really bother you that they seriously want to connect the "dots" between what books you take out of the library or buy on Amazon.com with what country you visit.

All perfectly legal:

*visit your public library
* buy a book about an historical American figure
* shop on amazon.com
* visit our ally in the war on terror

Live your life, go about your business, continue to shop and travel.

Petition your Government openly exercising free speech and seeking justice.

Get on the list.

Be a person of interest.

Last edited by Nic Name; 11-21-2002 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:51 AM   #15
Cairo
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Hi slang,
I completely understand your concern, I call it
The Post Clinton Traumatic Syndrome...where every
time our Government raises their hand, we flinch!
We were battered and abused.
But, I digress...
As our system is now, after a murder occurs the authorities track databases and find that indeed the perpetrator did buy garbage bags,an axe,rags,
and heavy duty floor cleaner at 3:00 AM....after
the fact. I bet the victim would have been grateful
(albeit maybe even still ALIVE) if authorities had a clue before the murder. And, all information is deemed suspicious,constitutional,relevant,or not
by a Judge....not any Agency.
All of your public information is already public,
I could access it. The private information needs a Judges order, so if you piss off your neighbors, they will need to plead their case to the Judge...
my bet is he says No!
My husband and I were driving home through a neighboring County, he had a warrant outstanding at the time for unpaid traffic tickets in our City, he was stopped for speeding, but because the databases from our City do not communicate with that County, they had no information and we were on our way.
Don't get me wrong, with a 5 month old with us,
I am very, very glad they didn't arrest him. However, I also realize that this also happens to terrorists who want to kill us!
No, the lack of communication between the Agencies is what missed the warnings of 9/11. The dots were never connected and it cost 3,000 lives....now you tell me to give them another chance? At the cost of tens of thousands of American lives? I'm not willing to roll the dice and gamble away human life! You say, just clean up the old intrusive agencies and you think they will connect the dots?
Well, our "old intrusive agencies" are telling you right now that they have connected the dots on what Saddam and terrorists are planning....guess what?
YOU don't believe them! Now that they are working to prevent another 9/11, it's too vague...nobody in their right mind would fly a plane into a building,
it's reaching to think that Saddam would sell nuclear capability to terrorists to bring America to it's knees, etc,etc....Really?

The individuals in this Country will be damned if this Country is not defended!!!!
A Judge decides if the Agency is able to track someone, always been that way, always will....
nothing has changed in that area.

LOL...maybe you scratching your ass IS a terrorist act?....a Judge will decide.
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