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US Official Urges Americans To Reconsider Privacy

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the we're-from-the-government-and-we're-here-to-pry dept.

Privacy 515

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, a deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information. "Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won. Anyone that's typed in their name on Google understands that," said Kerr. Kurt Opsahl of the EFF said Kerr ignores the distinction between sacrificing protection from an intrusive government and voluntarily disclosing information in exchange for a service. "There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties. We shouldn't have to give people the choice between taking advantage of modern communication tools and sacrificing their privacy." Kerr's comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, requiring a court order for surveillance on U.S. soil. The White House argued that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.

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first fisting post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315919)

My first contact with fisting was, of course, in San Francisco.
I was out on the coast for a round of job interviews in the Bar
area. My fluffy-sweater acquaintances in Cincinnati had scoped out
the territory the previous summer and were full of dire warnings
about South of Market in general and The Hothouse in particular,
so of course that was the first place I headed. Now, fisting
wasn't exactly a deep, dark mystery to me...somewhere along the
line I had acquired the book from the movie classic "Erotic Hands"
and I'd been jerking off to that for quite a while. You might say
I was into the concept if not the reality.

Well, The Hothouse was everything I had been warned it was...humpy
dudes wandering around in body harnesses leading their slaves on
leashes, the whole trip. I nearly came when I walked into the
shower room hunkered down on a plastic hose while he sucked his
buddy's oversize cock. I checked out the sling rooms, but I spent
most of the night doing conventional if rougher-than-usual sex.

I fell asleep with my door cracked. The next morning I woke up
with this warm, wet feeling on my arm. I looked up and there was
this hairy, muscular little dude impaled on my arm to the elbow!
Holy shit! He looked down at me and grinned "Good morning" "Good
morning yourself fucker." " Can you dig it!" "For sure, but I've
never done it before" Well, that turned his motor on, and soon
became oblivious that he wasn't gonna dismount my arm until he had
showed me all the right moves. We ended up with me punch-fucking
him doggy--style with a cheering audience of six or seven
leathermen. Well, my arm was busy most of the morning, but my
asshole stayed virgin.

I sorta filed the experience away and chewed on it until my next
trip to the coast. I only knew one dude in Cincinnati that was
into handball, and we were friends, not fuck-buddies, so I didn't
get a chance to practice again until another job interview took me
to San Diego. The job panned out. and I moved to California.

Now, you have to understand where I was coming from. Cincinnati
is one of the most tight-assed Republican cities in the Midwest.
There was one gay bar and no baths. If you wanted steam you had
to drive to Cleveland, Toledo or Chicago. So the first couple of
years in San Diego I was like a kid in a candy shop...baths, bars,
and Balboa Park!

I fisted if I was asked, and if I was in a "top" mood I got off on
it to a certain extent, but something was missing. What that
"something" was I found out one night at the old Fourth Avenue
Baths in Hillcrest. I was cruising the "open" rooms and came
across this hot little blond surfer-type. We started getting it
on, and our hands both started to go for the ass about the same
time, so he called a halt to go fetch the Crisco and poppers. Now,
fisting wasn't particularly on my mind...I figured we'd trade fucks
and that would be that. How was I to know that gay surfers in San
Diego get into handball?

Well. pretty soon we were pretty busy finger-fucking each other
while we sixty-nined. Then he called a halt and sat up and looked
at me. "Wanna go further?" "As in what?" "Fisting, man." "You
or me?" "Whatever," he muttered. "Well, I've never had it, but
I'm up for trying." Bingo! The idea of a virgin really pushed his
button, so pretty soon I'm on my back with my ass propped up on a
pillow and him sitting cross-legged below me.

"Your head's gonna get it done for you" he told me. "You gotta
want me inside you. It's just like takin' a big cock. It'll hurt
like hell goin' over the widest part of my knuckles, but then once
it's inside you're gonna lose your mind!" Well, we had smoked a
couple of joints and I was pretty mellowed out and the dude wasn't
tryin' to hurry me. We rapped about all kinds of shit, but all the
time there was this gentle but insistent pressure at my asshole.
"How much you got in?" I'd ask him from time to time but he
wouldn't tell me. "Don't worry about it...just relax and enjoy."

I kept playin' with my cock and that made my ass tighten up, so he
pulled the laces from his boot and tied my hands behind my head so
I couldn't jack off. Now I don't usually do bondage with a
stranger, but we were really into each other's heads by now, and
I figured what the shit, my legs were still free to kick if he got
radical.

We kept on like this for about an hour...then he looked me in the
eye and said, "Pull your knees back to your tits." "is this it,
man? I'm not sure I'm ready." "You're ready...your fuckin' ass
is just beggin' for my hand. Cummon, pull 'em back." He got up
on his knees and started pushing my legs down with his chest until
his face was right over mine. "Common, man, take my fuckin' fist.
You can do it!" He shoved a popper under my nose and my ass caught
fire! One fiery bolt of pain and he was in! The fucker had his
goddamned fist up my butt. "Slow deep breaths, man...take slow,
deep breaths. Get used to it, then we'll play." Now I was leakin'
gum like a firehose by this point. I couldn't imagine it getting
any more intense/painful/better, but it did. He gave me a few
minutes to calm down, then he shoved the popper under my nose again
and started to make a fist inside me. "AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH! Take
it easy man!" "Just makin' the fist, dude. Now I'm gonna do a
little twistin'." "Well, he did a little twistin' and I did a lot
of twistin' and yellin', but he just kept at it, slow and steady.
I drifted into a semi-trance impaled on this hot little dude's
hand. Experienced bottoms say that there's a good deal of yoga and
meditation involved...now I understood what they meant.

He looked down at me and grinned. "REady for a little depth?"
"You're running this trip, man. You got me fuckin' tied up and
held down so I can't move anything but my eyelashes. Guess if you
wanna go for dept I'm gonna have to go along! "Fuckin'-A-right!
You just slide down on my arm fucker. We're gonna go for the
elbow!" Now, that might sound a little bit radical for the first
time, but once he'd gotten in past the knuckles it was a matter of
degree. Actually, his outstretched hand and forearm was easier to
take than the clenched rotating fist. "Can you sit up?" he asked
me after awhile. "If you help me" "I want you to see, man.
You've got my fuckin' arm up to the elbow!" I didn't believe him,
but he pulled me up until I was bent like a pretzel and I could see
my red, tautly-stretched asshole around the beginning of his
muscular bicep. "I gotta cum, man," I moaned. "I gotta cum so
fuckin' gad!" "Oh, yeah, shoot your fuckin' load! Cummon,
motherfucker, shoot it!!" He was givin' me long, slow strokes with
his arm...all the was out to the wrist and then all the way back
to the elbow! He grabbed my cock and it was all over. I must have
shot for five minutes! The first load landed on the wall over my
head. "YYYYEEEOOWWW! OK. OK, ease out, man,ease out! He slowly
withdrew his arm and we collapsed.

"Like it?" he grinned. "Like it! Jesus, I loved it! You have
great hands man." "You might be sore for a day or two." "That's
cool." "Wanna do me?" "As soon as I catch my breath." We
stretched out and dozed for awhile then I started to get itchy to
get into his ass. It only took him about half and hour...he was
experienced, but I have fairly big hands. He started to get a
little worried, though, when I started sneakin' a couple of extra
fingers up along side my hand. "Hey, uh, I don't think I can take
much more." "First time for everything, dude." I chuckled. "Yeah,
well, I guess, only go easy, man, OK?" "No problem...just relax
and enjoy." Well, about another fifteen minutes I was shakin'
hands with myself inside this dude's steaming hole, and it was his
turn to beg. "Oh Christ, let me cum, please! Jack me off, man.
I gotta cum!" Well, that presented a problem since both my hands
were busy, so I took his aching cock in my mouth. He arched his
back and his asshole tightened around my wrists until I thought
they were gonna break. He shot so hard I thought I was gonna
drown! "JJJJJEEEEESSSSSUUUUUSSS! Take it out...please take it
out!" I slowly pulled one hand after the other out of his
exhausted hole. We staggered to the showers and soaped each other
down, and then we crashed. We exchanged phone numbers and played
a couple of times after that, either at the baths or at the FFA
parties. I lost track of him, and the Fourth Avenue Baths closed
down, but I'll never forget him.

Re:first fisting post! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316025)

This isnt off-topic. Its a metaphor for what the government wants to do to its people. They even want you to bend over and say "Yes please"

Re:first fisting post! (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316159)

Actually, any stories posted on /. that tend to expose the current administration for what it is tend to get these kinds of posts. Me thinks the Bush administration is watching and trying to prevent people from discussing their treason.

The real trick (4, Insightful)

Mi5ke561 (1002900) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316269)

What this guy Kerr and the rest of the Bush Regime and it's merry henchmen haven't figured out yet is that the real trick is to protect a free society without interfering with it's ability to function as one. This guy fits Mr. Justice Brandeis observation that the real encroachments on liberty come, "from men of zeal, but without understanding." This guy fits that cookie cutter perfectly-- his reach exceeds his grasp. And because that's common in government, they're fast becoming a bigger threat to the ordinary citizen than the often notional terrorists are.

Re:first fisting post! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316507)

Actually, any stories posted on /. that tend to expose the current administration for what it is tend to get these kinds of posts. Me thinks the Bush administration is watching and trying to prevent people from discussing their treason.

If that's the case, it isn't working well. According to the Oracle at Google, "Bush" is mentioned "about 18,700" times at Slashdot. Just about as popular as Mr. Gates (21,700 hits).

Treason Onward, comrades!

Finding yourself in Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315939)

If Google can not find anything about me, do I really exist? Or perhaps this guy exaggerates a little bit?

Re:Finding yourself in Google (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315981)

If google cannot find anything about you then you have misspelt your name.
If nothing comes up then you were switched at birth and can find information by typing in your correct name.

I only found out about this when I discovered my real birth name is inanimate carbon rod [google.co.uk] .

Re:Finding yourself in Google (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316437)

Heh. According to the first two pages of my Google search, I am a stunt double, a football player, a reviewer on Amazon, a MySpace bot, and a bigwig at Tower Financial Planning. Looks like I'm about as close to incognito on the web as you're going to find.

Re:Finding yourself in Google (1)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316555)

Nuh-uh. I have an entire disambiguation page on Wikipedia on my name. I'm a trophy, an American political scientist, a Canadian international relations scholar, and the former mayer of Fort Lauderdale.

Re:Finding yourself in Google (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316019)

It has NOTHING to do with Google. If the government wants to change what privacy means to THEM, they need a constitutional amendment. Unless they simply want to continue to trample the document, which I wouldn't doubt for a moment.

Re:Finding yourself in Google (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316081)

The 4th ammendment says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated [...]". I think the attempt is to narrowly define "secure", here. If someone can unreasonably search all your papers, effects, etc., *but* that does not give you reasonable cause to feel "insecure", is that a 4th ammendment violation? There's rhetorical ground to be muddied, somewhere between "privacy" and "security". Now, I myself consider it inherently unreasonable for a citizen to accept government guarentees of security at face value, but that seem to be the arguement that's being put forward here.

Re:Finding yourself in Google (2, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316449)

Maybe we can invite a Brit to weigh in on whether or not it's irony, but what fascinates me is that many of the same people who cry the loudest about the Bush Administration's actions are also the ones going on about the need for social welfare programs and universal health care.
Look: either the government pervades your life, or it does not.
The debate is healthy, though. Perhaps it will lead to clearer rules of engagement on security and privacy. If you're tasked with ensuring security, you really want clear ROE, so that the next time Mr. Extremist makes history, you can say: "Well, that sucked, but that was the way the public wanted to manage the probabilities."

The privacy right has been judicially created (4, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316321)

If the government wants to change what privacy means to THEM, they need a constitutional amendment.

The "right of privacy" is a judicial construct. I'm not saying that it is a bad construct, but you'll never see the word "privacy" in the Constitution. In interpreting the 4th Amendment, the Supreme Court has constructed a Constitutional protection of privacy. Maybe the definition of "activist judges" depends on where you sit. Anyway, the courts have acknowledged that this is an implicit, rather than explicit right.

Legislative acts have also defined privacy in their own ways, but the term "privacy" is a difficult one to define with precision when we're dealing with electronic communications. If the limits of privacy are no longer defined by your physical presence, how far does your right to privacy extend? With so much of our lives being lived online, would excessive provisions for privacy actually extend the doctrine further than it was originally intended?

Another question: We place our trust in Google every time we use its services, but why do we place more trust in a profit-maximizing enterprise than in our own government? Ostensibly we can hold our government accountable through elections, but we have less influence on corporations. Sure, we have the power of the wallet, but when's the last time you saw an effective consumer boycott in the information economy?

Re:The privacy right has been judicially created (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316535)

"The "right of privacy" is a judicial construct. I'm not saying that it is a bad construct, but you'll never see the word "privacy" in the Constitution." The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We can stop using Google at any time, little cost. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316537)

The same cannot be said for our government. There is a significant cost to changing citizenship, if it is at all possible.

Also, Google cannot declare me an 'enemy combatant' and suspend my right to a trial.

Re:Finding yourself in Google (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316411)

It has NOTHING to do with Google. If the government wants to change what privacy means to THEM, they need a constitutional amendment. Unless they simply want to continue to trample the document, which I wouldn't doubt for a moment.

That would only be the case if the Constitution defined privacy. As it stands, the Constitution doesn't even MENTION privacy.

Whether privacy should be considered an unalienable right is a worthy topic of discussion. However, as far as I can tell the concept of the right to privacy didn't exist prior to the 20th century. Saying that the right should be respected because it is in the Constitution, when it isn't, is a silly argument, and undermines the legitimate arguments for it. (And just because the Supreme Court does something silly doesn't mean it is no longer silly.)

The clear purpose of the 4th Amendment is to protect citizens against physical and disruptive intrusions into their homes and possessions. It does not exist to explicitly safeguard information from the government. It was neither written nor ratified under any semblance of that meaning. To intentionally interpret the Constitution in a way that is alien to both the words themselves, and to the understanding of both the writers and ratifiers, is blatantly anti-democratic.

Sounds good to me (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315945)

I don't see any red flags...

I, for one... (5, Informative)

Grandiloquence (1180099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315961)

I, for one, welcome the impending removal of our old tyrannical police-state masters. www.ronpaul2008.com

Re:I, for one... (-1, Troll)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316001)

Juan sat in the sand, leaning over to catch a black scorpion that was wandering across a cactus. Twenty million other displaced Mexicans surrounded him in their makeshift refugee camp. As Juan skewered the scorpion on a stick and began to roast it over a fire, he eyed the large pile of sacks of "UN Food Aid" that had been sent by the United States. The weeds and cactuses had withered and died in a 30 foot radius around the stack. The United States had indeed found a very creative solution to rid itself of unwanted nuclear waste.

As the scorpion cooked over the open fire, emaciated latinos with distended bellies looked at Juan with jealousy. He gripped his Makarov pistol tightly and eyed them back.

Juan removed the charred scorpion from the end of his stick, plucked the stinger off, and stuffed it in his mouth greedily. This had been the first time he had eaten in twelve days. As he chewed, he looked at the Great Barrier Wall on the America-Mexico border, one of the few man-made structures that could be seen from space. A plane flew over it and began dumping medical waste from its fuselage onto Mexican soil as though it were fighting a forest fire. Juan made a mental note to obtain some of the discarded vaccines that the Americans were fond of mixing in with broken thermometers and bed pans.

Padre walked up to him from behind, startling him.

"Hey ese, I got an idea on we can get back into the states." Padre said with a distinctive American accent.

"Listen Padre, you know I ain't goin to sell myself into slavery." Juan responded.

Both men had been born and raised in the USA and spoke more English than Spanish, but the Mud Peoples Relocation Act of 2009 and subsequent Constitutional Amendment had seen them lose all their possessions as well as their American citizenship.

"No man, I think we can get back by disguising ourselves as gringos." Padre explained as he revealed several bottles of colloidal silver and Just For Men blond hair dye.

A smile broke upon Juan's cracked lips as he eyed the materials. "Where did you get those from, homes?"

"Traded them to an American smuggler for Penicillin."

------

Meanwhile, in Washington DC, President Ron Paul sat in his office in the Goldhouse. His red skin, redder than the skin of a Custer Killer, shined magnificently, a byproduct of his years of dabbling in Colloidal Gold. His wizened face looked upon the latest presidential briefing about the removal of "cancers". Suddenly his phone received a text message.

"smbdy wnts 2 c u"

"ok let thm in"

A Canadian ambassador arrived, shuffling nervously about. He passed through a metal detector and entered the presidential office, nervously fidgeting with his tie.

"So what do I owe the pleasure of this visit from the ambassador of Canadialand?" Ron Paul asked, his brick-red face raising an eyebrow, his eyes fixed on the man before him like a hawk.

"Canada wishes to sign a ceasefire." the ambassador replied, reaching into his pocket. Instead of producing a document, the ambassador before him produced a small glass globule filled with crimson liquid. He quickly and precisely threw it at Ron Paul's head. The President was faster than the would-be assassin had counted on, however, ducking under his chair as the red glass globule brushed against his hair and slapping his hand over a green button. The ground beneath the assassin disappeared into a cavern as the glass ball shattered on the curtains behind the presidential desk, swallowing him down through a trap door.

"I see Soros is up to his old tricks again." President Paul said, his wizened red face smiling. A bodyguard rushed in and quickly examined Ron Paul to ensure his safety. He looked back at the blood-stained curtains with worry on his face.

Ron Paul stepped away from his desk to calm the bodyguard.

"Don't worry, Tom, it's not my blood. It's Jew blood." He explained. He sniffed the air and claimed "Ethiopian Jew blood, if I'm not mistaken."

"The One Drop Law." the guard realized knowingly.

"Yes, Tom, ironic, isn't it? They tried to make me doubly illegal under my own legislation." Ron Paul said. "As for the curtains, burn them and get rid of that filth. I have work to do."

Credits [somethingawful.com]

Security Through Obscurity (5, Funny)

MankyD (567984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315971)

"Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won. Anyone that's typed in their name on Google understands that," said Kerr.
Try telling that to John Smith.

Re:Security Through Obscurity (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316113)

"Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won. Anyone that's typed in their name on Google understands that," said Kerr.

Try telling that to John Smith.

Yea, Googling my name, first and last, I got almost 300,000 results. Adding a middle initial I still got almost 2000. Spelling out the middle name I still got more than 100. And I'm a nobody.

Falcon

Apologies to Emily Dickinson (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316191)

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!
They'd waterboard us, you know.

Re:Security Through Obscurity (3, Interesting)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316459)

I have yet to see anything turn up relating to me via my legal name (and variations) on Google. I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted.....

Basically, the more public the life you lead, the more apt you are to be found on Google. I've led a very hermit-like life and am very, very careful about who gets my personal information and why. Google knows me not -- I've never been the subject of or quoted in any news stories, I have not worked for any company or belonged to any organization that might put a staff or membership list online, etc., etc. Even if you try the various public records searches, my name will pop up occasionally, but 95% of what turns up is outdated information anyway, and what is there could be found without the Internet via a trip to the courthouse. I am well aware that the tide is turning (has turned) and that you can't totally hide in this day and age. But at the same time, that doesn't mean I'm going to hand over the details of my life on a silver platter. I understand that if someone really wanted to find me, they could. But at least they will have to work hard to do so.

Re:Security Through Obscurity (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316569)

I have yet to see anything turn up relating to me via my legal name (and variations) on Google. I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted.....

I'm relieved I don't find anything personal about me, but also disappointed I haven't done anything note worthy.

Falcon

FSIA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315977)

as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act


You mean, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, commonly referred to as FISA?

Re:FSIA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316165)

"(This version CORRECTS `Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act' to `Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act')"

That was quick. They must be reading /.

US Official Urges Americans Not To Reconsider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21315989)

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755

We had better government officials back then.

Remember, remember...

You don't know what the fuck you're talking about (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316079)

I'll bet you don't know what specific "essential liberty" Franklin was referring to, do you?

That quote is Ben Franklin saying Quakers in Pennsylvania who "g[a]ve up [their] essential liberty" of BEARING ARMS paid for by the government against Indian and French raids during the French and Indian Wars (known in Europe, IIRC, as the "Seven Year War") deserved what they got: killed.

Your oh-so-fucking-precious quote is a small part of a diatribe against blind, stupid pacifism: those that give up their essential liberty of armed self-defense deserve what they get. You'd know that if you bothered to read the whole damn letter [franklinpapers.org] .

Quit taking it out of context.

"Fundamentally different" (5, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21315997)

"There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties."

The difference being that while I trust no one, I trust the government with the information even less, because they have the power to screw me over to such a greater degree.

Re:"Fundamentally different" (2, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316287)

And they're much less accountable for it, too.

Knock knock.. it's 1984 calling. (5, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316003)

"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 safeguard people's private communications and financial information."

Yes, lets 'redfine' privacy to mean "we know what you do, we will just be responsible with the information"

Re:Knock knock.. it's 1984 calling. (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316141)

That's what they have now. That's what the guy is trying with little success to express to everyone.

The government already knows. FBI, they know. CIA, they know. Google, MS, IBM, AT&T, Visa, MasterCard, the list goes on and on.

The million dollar question is, what is wrong with people that they'd sacrifice the ability to also know what is actually going on if it will prevent the neighbour from knowing what they do with their weekends, when people are already using that same knowledge to conspire against them in the commercial sphere and in the political sphere?

Anyone able to explain this to me? It looks like an absolutely drooling-idiot kind of retarded position from where I'm sitting.

(No, I don't care if you put a webcam in my shower or jerk off to pictures of Margret Thatcher. So, don't bother asking. It's not clever like you think it is.)

Re:Knock knock.. it's 1984 calling. (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316205)

Indeed, that pretty much constitutes the definition of "trust". You share secrets with people you trust. What these political trolls are asking us to do is trust the government---yet on nearly every occasion in the past, they have proven utterly unworthy of that trust. Hell, they can't even keep computers from walking away from Lawrence Livermore National Labs. If we can't even trust them to keep their own nuclear secrets safe, how can we possibly be expected to trust them to keep our private information safe?

This is literally the epitome of the phrase "wolf guarding the henhouse". The entire purpose of large parts of our Bill of Rights is to protect the citizens from our own government---to ensure that the government cannot do precisely what this person is asking us to let it do.

So my question to anyone seriously considering his statement is this: What ever happened to "I... will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"? Are those mere words, or do they mean something? Because if we give in to this tyranny, we are saying that those are mere words---that the spirit of the U.S. Constitution, of the Bill of Rights---indeed, the spirit of America---is nothing more than a statement of naive ideals to be respected only when it is convenient.

No, this is not the time to cave in. Indeed, it is when we are most threatened that we must most firmly cling to our principles. It is easy to do the right thing when it is convenient; only the truly good continue to do good when it is hard. It is time that we as a nation stand up and tell the world, "This is what we believe. This is who we are as a nation." Are we going to be a nation of fear? Are we going to be a nation of paranoia, not trusting our neighbors and telling the government every time they sneeze in the interests of protecting ourselves? Are we going to be a nation of terrified little children who cower in our beds out of fear that the big bad terrorist boogeyman will get us? Or are we going to be a proud nation standing strong as a beacon of freedom and light to a darkened world?

A time of great tribulation is upon us. Everyone must choose a side. Will you choose the side of right---of freedom---or the side of wrong---of tyranny, oppression, and fear? Only you can decide. As for me, I choose the side of truth. To Mr. Kerr, I'm sorry if the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are inconvenient for you, but maybe, just maybe, that is because you're doing something you shouldn't be doing in the first place. If you can't see that, I pity you.

I googled my name and... (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316035)

I got about 334,000 for [First] [Last]. In the first 10 pages none of them are mine. I also googled my "[First Name] [Last Name]" [hometown] and got about 685 results. I am very careful about what I put out there, I know that I cant control everything but that is why people use usernames and not real names. All I need to do for a new Identity is create a new one and even then people will rip it off. I know that if someone really wanted to get all my info they could but they would need to invest some serious time into it and even then there is no reason to rethink privacy because there should always be a shield of privacy on the internet. If anything we should be repairing the privacy wall between the consumers and the providers.

Re:I googled my name and... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316279)

Yeah, but you have an extremely common first name and live in a big city(unless I stumbled upon the wrong information).

Re:I googled my name and... (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316329)

No you got it right but I don't actually live in Boston just in the area, it would be crazy to put my real hometown in.

Re:I googled my name and... (1)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316355)

My name comes back with luggage company.
Put in my hometown, high school, college, even race scores posted to the internet, nope... luggage company. Clearly my master plan is safe for now.

I'm willing to give up my privacy (5, Interesting)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316037)

if the US government--president, NSA, CIA, FBI--are willing to give up their secrecy.

What is intolerable, however, is for government officials to have a lot of information on private citizens, but for private citizens to have little information on the government.

Is this guy joking? (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316049)

"There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties."

Definitely. For one, I can choose not to interact with certain private parties if they piss me off. But I probably can't choose to ignore the government and have to interact with it on some level.

Also, private parties can't demand I hand over certain private information -- sure, they might decide not to do business with me, but the government seems to think it's priviledged to anything and everything since the Patriot Act. Good luck turning them down.

Now it's no longer based on evidence that a crime was done -- we are welcomed to the pre-emptive society. Pre-emptive wars. Pre-emptive invasion of my privacy (without warrant) based on crimes that might happen. I'm just waiting to be pre-emptively thrown in jail.

I find it interesting that this government official is trying to sell us on the government safeguarding our information. HAH! What a joke.

Re:Is this guy joking? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316119)

Bingo.

Someone post the 5 nastiest links of information abuse so we can mod them +6 Informative and shut this thread down and go to the next story.

Here's an example of Kerr's logic (4, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316161)

FTA:

Kerr said at an October intelligence conference in San Antonio that he finds concerns that the government may be listening in odd when people are ``perfectly willing for a green-card holder at an (Internet service provider) who may or may have not have been an illegal entrant to the United States to handle their data.''


Really, I don't need to read beyond this. Does the US have a privacy problem with personal data held by corporations without regulation? Yes. Does the US have a privacy problem with novel government surveillance methods without (serious) oversight? Hell Yes. Can one be used to excuse the other in any way shape or form? Hell no!

This guy should not be the standard bearer for the dialog that the US needs to have over privacy in the age of information technology.

Attend Next Spring's Political Caucuses (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316051)

Next Spring, almost every state will have political caucuses and conventions which will set the state parties' platforms.

Attend your local caucus or convention and try to get elected as a delegate to the state convention.

Introduce resolutions that value freedom and privacy. Lobby to get them passed.

Send a message to Washington: Privacy is important. Anonymity is an essential part of privacy.

Legal terms to promote privacy (3, Interesting)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316057)

The article notes that kids reveal much private information about themselves on myspace and facebook. Some fear that this information can damage a kids employment prospects. Heres an idea: People could post legal terms of service on their social networing pages declaring that employers and prospective employers are forbidden from looking at or copying from the pages. Such terms would be like No Trespassing signs on land. Some case law supports the notion that terms posted on a web site can restrict the right of visitors to gather information off the site. Arguably, if an employer grabs information off of a site in violation of posted terms, and that leads to termination of an employee, then the employee could sue the employer for violating the terms of the web site. Even if the terms are not legally binding on the employer, they could be ethically binding.

Re:Legal terms to promote privacy (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316107)

Sorry, I don't believe there is any such case law.

Nor do I believe that as an employer anything you choose to reveal about yourself should not be used in a decision whether or not to hire you. If you rave on and on online endlessly about how all businesses are evil and the US government is out to get us all, you're not a candidate for any job I have. If you rave on and on about what great drugs you got last weekend and how you spent the entire time watching pretty patterns on the ceiling, you're not a candidate. If you rave on and on about any topic online that discloses a great deal about yourself, you're probably not a candidate for any job that requires tact, discretion or secrecy.

And there isn't a thing you can do about it. Think before you type.

Re:Legal terms to promote privacy (1)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316249)

Some court cases have held that the use of information from a web site in controvention of posted terms of service is illegal. http://www.chillingeffects.org/linking/faq.cgi#QID460 [chillingeffects.org] One legal theory is that such illicit use constitutes "trespass to chattels".

Re:Legal terms to promote privacy (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316371)

Great, so you support HR denying jobs to people who post that they had a great time that the barmitsva, or that their child just got straight As in school. After all, since

Nor do I believe that as an employer anything you choose to reveal about yourself should not be used in a decision whether or not to hire you.


You clearly feel that religion and parental status are fair game in refusing job applicants. I can honestly say that if I were your employer, and you had any authority over any other employees, I would be looking at replacing you as soon as possible, as you have now publicly stated that you feel anti-discrimination laws don't apply to you.

Re:Legal terms to promote privacy (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316235)

The article notes that kids reveal much private information about themselves on myspace and facebook.

The thing that articles like this neglect to mention is that kids lie on their profiles and chats. Here's an article from "Business Week" about "Marketing to Teens Online" [businessweek.com] . One of the reasons they give for kids lying is "Kids also lie on the Web to avoid creepy predators. One parent told me her 13-year-old son's MySpace profile says he's 26 and married with two kids. Teens, sometimes with parental encouragement, will give this type of false information because they don't want to be bothered by adults looking to chat it up with children."

Falcon

If you believe ... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316065)

If you believe you can have privacy, security and anonyminity you are wrong. You might get any two of those. Maybe.

If you main fear is the US government, think again. Your information is a marketable commodity and nobody is doiung anything to prevent commerce using that commodity. How many businesses are involved in trading information that you believe should be private? Do you believe the government should put an end to all such activity?

It isn't going to happen.

Re:If you believe ... (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316339)

If you believe you can have privacy, security and anonyminity you are wrong. You might get any two of those. Maybe.

Privacy and anonymity are essentially the same thing. A USSC ruling even stated this in the early 1800s. If a person couldn't reasonable expect to keep their privacy then freedom of political speech didn't mean anything. Without remaining anonymous people wouldn't be willing to talk openly about politics for fear what they say can be used against them. I think the appropriate third word is "cheap" though "fast" is good too.

Falcon

Re:If you believe ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316455)

An attitude like that is dangerous and feeds into bad law making. Let's say technology matures and it is possible - do you see the government giving up its rights? In this particular case, the basis for the technology already exists - except it only benefits consumers, so there is little industrial support. Read up on the concepts of "electronic cash" (anonymous e-money) and "anonymous capability based security". Given this, the fact that internet providers do little to make clients anonymous and credit card companies don't support anonymous cards seems silly. I would pay an extra 5$ a month for such a credit card or internet provider, but then again, I think it should be required by law given that the technology exists. European legislation is moving in that direction - why are we always behind or moving backwards in the important things government-wise these days?

Google my pseudonym (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316069)

Google my pseudonym and anything written by me is obscured in a sea of fanfics, fanpics, and completly unrelated person's posting information. Type my real name into google and you'll find 3 entries relating to me: two of which are useful but could have been found before the Internet. Nothing has changed; only the speed of things have changed. If someone really wishes to find me, they would, but the majority of the information would come from offline. Preserving anonmity is still a keystone of the freedom of privacy; whether you choose to maintain it or not is you own business.

Google my real name (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316493)

Type my real name into google and you'll find 3 entries relating to me

When I Google my full name I get more than 100 results. None of the results on the first page are about me. Same with the second and third pages, only 1 result is shown on the third one with a link to omitted results.

Falcon

Surveillance on U.S. soil (4, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316083)

The White House argued that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.
Of course it is! That's entirely the point. It's not supposed to be easy for the government to carry out espionage on its own soil. In the course of an investigation there will be a lot of information, records, conversations, and correspondence between the persons being investigated and regular citizens. When you do your espianage on American soil, the bystanders are AMERICAN CITIZENS, protected from being spied on. It should be very difficult for the government to do those types of activities. Just because the white house thinks they need a blank check to do what ever they want in the name of security doesn't mean we should give it to them.

Also, about googling your own name; I just did that and although there were over 1.5 million results, none of them were about me as far as I could tell :(
I guess I should be relieved, although I'm kind of disappointed that I'm not important enough to have my privacy violated.

Who Am I? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316087)

You will never find out *Evil Laugh*
God Save the Queen
Damn now you know I am from London
I mean England damn it now you know the city too :(
*Evil Cry???*

He does have a point (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316097)

A detailed search on google will reveal WAY too much info on people. Certainly more than you'd want released to just anyone.

More than this ... laws will not change this fact ... this sucks. If google can build databases of people le, why can't the US govt ? At least US govt has this freedom of info act. Google obeys only the laws they truly have to.

Outlawing google also seems like a stupid thing to do.

He just makes the point that we can't have it both ways. We can't have a searchable internet and the privacy standards of 1960. It just doesn't compute.

Re:He does have a point (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316513)

Type my real name into google and you'll find 3 entries relating to me

Googling my name I get nothing. All 100 plus results are about others.

Falcon

Is It January 20th, 2009, Yet? (1, Offtopic)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316103)

God, will it ever get here?

The Bush administration is systematically perverting the American Constitution.

I swear I would vote for anyone that said they would restore and enforce the Constitution, who would prosecute those who have subverted and raped it, and who would roll back the stoled powers of the Executive branch.

Even better, if they would turn the current system of campaign contributions by corporations into treasonous acts and punish all involved in the harshest possible manner.

We have the finest government money can buy. And that sucks.

Re:Is It January 20th, 2009, Yet? (1)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316201)

I swear I would vote for anyone that said they would restore and enforce the Constitution, who would prosecute those who have subverted and raped it, and who would roll back the stoled powers of the Executive branch.

I don't really care for Ron Paul's politics on abortion (since I consider matters of reproduction an inalienable right), but I feel he's probably the only one who would remotely consider these actions. In fact, as a fairly liberal/libertarian person, he'd earn my vote in a heartbeat if he made prosecuting the guilty scumbags in the current administration his main campaign promise.

Things can get worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316317)

President Giulliani will hurt privacy more than George W. Bush.

Barry (4, Insightful)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316105)

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity.
-- Donald Kerr

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
-- Barry Goldwater

It's official - google is evil according to Gov't (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316111)

"Anyone that's typed in their name on Google understands that," said Kerr."

Great! We should give Kerr a dose of his own medicine by posting about how "Donald Kerr likes having sex with a sheep", "Donald Kerr was arrested for soliciting sex in a public washroom", "Donald Kerr was indicted for embezzling $5 million dollars", "Donald Kerr was convicted of sexually assaulting an 82-year-old woman after tazering her", "Donald Kerr helped funnel funds to Al-Quaida", "Donald Kerr was found wandering naked in a local park, claiming to have been abducted by aliens, who then probed his body", "Donald Kerr is a vocal proponent of scientology", "Donald Kerr is president of the Washington Brittney Speares fan club", "Donald Kerr controls a bot-net of 250,000 PCs", "Donald Kerr accepted 'gifts' of $4.5m from Microsoft", "Donald Kerr wants to track people via bluetooth".

After all, Google is now a "good source" for Donald Kerr.

(Note to the humour-impaired - the above is fair comment satire directed at a public officials' political policy statements, and in no way is an endorsement of Mr. Kerr's positions on privacy OR sex with a sheep)

Re:It's official - google is evil according to Gov (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316347)

"Donald Kerr likes having sex with a sheep",
Hey, it's an insult to the Welsh linking them with this retarded US official, and insulting the Welsh is a right reserved only for the other nations of the UK. As an Brit, I'm handing you this cease and desist notice... ;p

Re:It's official - google is evil according to Gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316417)

Donald Kerr helped funnel funds to Al-Quaida

Google searched that statement and found hits. Donald Kerr MUST be reported for his terrorist connections. Afterall, everything on the Internet is TRUE or else it would not be on the Internet, right? ;-)

US Citizens Urge US Officials to Re-Think Treason (5, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316125)

And the penalties for it.

The Bush administration has shit all over the Constitution and this country. They have committed treason.

Re:US Citizens Urge US Officials to Re-Think Treas (1)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316303)

I'm sad to say I must agree with this. Bush was my favorite president until I started to hear of all the violations on our people. All this spying at home and I don't feel a bit safer from terrorists. Quite the opposite with a government for the government instead of the people.

Government having private data... (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316153)

Yes, there is something fundamentally different: After they take away your rights and screw you over, they can get themselves immunity. Private businesses generally cannot do that.

This guy is basically advertising a surveilance state, were everybody has to trust the government without reserve. Not a good idea. Historically that has always lead to a catastrophy. Unfortunately there will not be any allied armies to free the US population. I advise to stop this now with all possible legal means. A free society has to live with a real risk of terrorism. That is what makes it free: People have the freedom to go bad. If you remove that freedom, you cause much, much more damage that terrorists ever could do directly. All this "war on terror" is really a power-grap in disguise by power-hungry people without even a shred of ethics. You do not want to be ruled by this type of evil.

 

This man is a coward. (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316157)

On the New Hampshire auto license plates reads one of my favorite sayings: Live Free, or Die. This man would rather capitulate, and is therefore lost.

We will struggle, those that believe in liberty and freedom, against the tides that would try to drown us with rationalisms, excuses, and the madness of fealty to the corrupt and mindless sycophants of government.

There was a reason the founding fathers worded their documents they way that they did-- there was another King George that tried to shove fealty down our throats. This minor duke in his administration would have us believe that liberty and freedom != anonymity. He is wrong.

Re:This man is a coward. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316255)

On the New Hampshire auto license plates reads one of my favorite sayings: Live Free, or Die. This man would rather capitulate, and is therefore lost.

Given the choice of living in slavery or death, which do you think most people would choose? Do you really expect people to say "yes, kill me please"?

Someone who takes that saying serious would have to commit suicide before going to jail.

Re:This man is a coward. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316377)

Given the choice of living in slavery or death, which do you think most people would choose? Do you really expect people to say "yes, kill me please"?
No we don't expect them to say "yes" I am sure the parent expects as I would that they make an attempt to at the very least escape, and idealy attempt to destroy their opressors, even if these actions will get them killed.

As to the suicide over jail thing that depends, If I was looking at a REAL life sentance like not getting out ever not in fifteen years never, then yea I would probably not allow myself to be taken alive, but I would not kill myself either. I would put society in the position of doing it so they have to live with it. Maybe it would be justifed, maybe everyone will sleep soundly that night, maybe not.

Re:This man is a coward. (1)

KTheorem (999253) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316441)

Not saying I totally agree with this but there is some logic to the idea that if you would rather live in slavery than die, you are, at least in some small way, okay with the idea of being owned.

Re:This man is a coward. (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316443)

Today is November 11, the traditional Veteran's Day. Let me tell you of my ancestors, who didn't capitulate, and were POWs, were killed, shot down over Europe or the Pacific; these ancestors understanood what they were fighting for- going all the way back to 1779 in Pennsylvania, fighting Tories. Or let me tell you about the regiments that went south of the Ohio to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. Perhaps my late grandfather, who was an adjutant in WWI could've told you about liberty, or an uncle that went to Europe in WWII, despite his debilitating polio. Or an other uncle that had most of his stomach blown away with ack-ack flak. Both of them savor(ed) their liberty, and both were willing to without hesitation, and die for it. Another uncle did.

Let me tell you about the other heros that also protested the Viet Nam War for the travesty it had become as others were conscripted (and enslaved) to fight. Or perhaps those that looked with incredulity at the hoaxed evidence of 'WMD' in Iraq-- knowing that many thousands of soldier lives would be lost in vain, not to mention Afgani and Iraqi lives-- and the lives of US allies.

Let me tell you about having principles, not a squishy bowl of jelly for guts in the face of those that would compromise liberty, civil rights, and freedom with responsibility for these.

Many people have, and will understand the value of liberty, once lost. Should you wish subjugation, sit still and don't do anything.

...and? (2, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316173)

If I change my name to "John Doe"?

Re:...and? (2, Informative)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316213)

Not such a good idea because there aren't that many John Doe's. Go for John Smith. Or now, maybe you should change your name to Mohammed Al-Mohammed. Or Juan Sanchez. Or Unique Williams. Or possibly best of all -- Lee Chin.

security? (2, Insightful)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316177)

Bad terrorists kill thousands. Bad government kill millions. Their fear mongering and our cowardice are poisoning our nation's leadership.

Firefox add-on (5, Interesting)

Janos421 (1136335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316181)

For those of you who want to protect their privacy, I've made a light Firefox add-on which generates randomly some queries on Google to make your search profile noisier and less exploitable. The queries keywords are extracted from RSS flows so you can personalize them. Moreover, the program simulates some clicks on Google search results (and ads).
For further information go on: http://sourceforge.net/projects/fuzzy-search/ [sourceforge.net]
It's a beta version and any comments are appreciated.

The US is not the entire planet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316183)

Fine, let Americans do as they please. It won't change the rest of the planet one bit. If America's biggest enemy comes from within, then this should work out quite well for them.

But as with all notions about regulating the net with laws this really seems to overlook the fact that passing a law in the United States in an effort to control the internet is absurd unless the US plans to also close down its links to the rest of the net at the same time. Obviously that's not the case, so this kind of thing only works to screw with American citizens and accomplishes nothing of significance.

Re:The US is not the entire planet. (5, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316265)

"so this kind of thing only works to screw with American citizens and accomplishes nothing of significance"

And this is news? America's biggest enemy is definitely within. It is lack of education and an easily terrified populace that can be manipulated with a few "support our troops" and "with us or agin' us" slogans.

I think Osama bin Laden hit the jackpot with his 9/11 attack. He spent some 19 lives and a few tens of thousands of dollars and in return, he, through the current moronic, paranoid, and opportunistic administration, has thoroughly destroyed what used to be the most powerful and respected Nation on earth.

I agree with Kerr (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316215)

The EFF is wrong. There is no difference because they are one and the same, meaning that the Government does provide us with services, in fact it is their only job to provide us with services... that's why we pay taxes and elect officials.

If we want to protect our privacy in the new age of information, we must have policies in place which reflect the real world, not a fantasy world where you can be an anonymous citizen (which is impossible BTW) who simply goes about his/her business without interference from some agency or another. Just being a U.S. citizen guarantees gov interference in your life... it's part of the social agreement we all participate in and some people don't even think of it as interference or intervention.... they think of it as guidance, assistance and public service.

Non-participation in elections, public functions and other types of government activities does not absolve you as a citizen from being accountable or from the limitations or responsibilities of being a citizen. You simply don't gain the benefits of active involvement and yet still bear the burden.

So rather than ignore reality, we should embrace it. We should make sure that despite the government knowing about our personal and private activities... they can not stop safe and sane activities only regulate abusive versions of such where they begin to impede on others right to such things. I'd go so far as to say we should repeal many laws which govern personal liberty and at the same time enhance penalties for behaviors which impede upon others liberties. What I'm talking about is removing laws about DOING drugs and making more strict laws about ABUSING drugs or acting out while on drugs ie: violent behavior, negligent behavior, etc. The same should be done regarding things like decency laws, laws related to sexual behavior (stop prohibition on sex for hire and start regulating it so it is safe for the public)....

This type of limited regulation of course has been impossible up until now... better to ban it completely when we don't really know and can't find out who is abusing what... but now we have the ability to monitor without interfering unless and until it is necessary to regulate an abusive situation. As long as such monitoring is open and transparent to the public as well as the government no one agency (in the general sense) can over-regulate or abuse the use of the information without several other agencies checking and balancing them.

There's nothing more free than the truth. If everyone knows what everyone is doing and becomes accustomed to it then everyone can freely do as they will without fear of punitive judgement, as long as they don't break any laws... which is another discussion (see recommendations above).

Re:I agree with Kerr (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316341)

"If everyone knows what everyone is doing and becomes accustomed to it then everyone can freely do as they will without fear of punitive judgement, as long as they don't break any laws... which is another discussion (see recommendations above)."

Indeed. Jews in Nazi Germany in the 30s were free to do what they wanted without fear, so long as they didn't break any laws.

Of course walking around with a Star of David on your clothes kind of sucked later on when being a Jew became a capital offence.

You drive a hard bargain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316229)

Let me just think about it...

No, I think I'll keep my privacy, thank you. And I'll pay for that with my votes and tax money.

Need link to StreetView of Kerr's house (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316259)

Is Donald Kerr's house in Google StreetView? What's the link?

Privacy and Anonymity are different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316283)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but:
Privacy means I don't have anybody poking around in my affairs without my knowledge and permission. That's a very important right.

Anonymity, whether I'm spelling it right or not, means that I can interact in a community without being identified. It's something that seldom existed in earlier ages, when communities were small and everyone knew you by your face. Sure, there was the Lone Ranger, the Black Knight, etc, but everyday people weren't anonymous. Only thieves, heros, and cowards were anonymous.

I enjoy the occasional anonymity, but I wouldn't consider it a right, nor would I fight for it.

Barking up the wrong tree -- Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316293)

All youse posting about how "a quick google" can turn up some info, some times:

TIA (Total Information Awareness, the one with the cute masonic all-seeing-eye logo) is all about doing that:
+ including all the things google doesn't let you see (the googlebot has more access that a normal browser / results are filtered by website request)
+ all the proprietary databases (credit, medical, social security, etc)
+ info obtained using national security letters and other programs (ip user mappings from ISPs and backbone taps)
+ experimental info interrelationship data (writing style analysis, social relation analysis)

Add all that together, and even John Smith #232345 aka JigglyPuffLover69 is uniquely identifiable and trackable...

And very subtly, very delicately... (2, Insightful)

mr_josh (1001605) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316333)

...the clamps start getting put in place. They turn the screws a thread at a time, make lots of fuzzy statements like "Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won." The fight is lost. There is no fight. Submit. Submit.

If you aren't doing anything wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316353)

you have nothing to hide.

Oh yes, I trust my Government. That has always worked in the past and it will continue to work. That's why our Founding Fathers pushed for a large and centralized authoritarian Government that has absolute power to monitor your e-mail in the NSA "locked-room" at AT&T headquarters, or search your house while you are away without a warrant. I'm sick of tired of hearing these hippies complain about Habeas Corpus. Who is going to need a judicial review after the Terrorists have killed us all. If you don't believe in freedom then you hate children and should move back to Communist China.

Government and Business Aren't One in the Same... (1)

krycheq (836359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316369)

I am in no way defending what Mr. Kerr has said here, but, he has probably spent the better part of his professional career in government and is speaking from the ignorant perspective that government exists to better people's lives and therefore equates the US government with any other big business. Unfortunately, because he's probably spent so much time in the government he doesn't understand that there are fundamental differences between businesses that are charged with maintaining the privacy of their customers' data and the government's charge to maintaining the privacy of their constituents... a charge which government has absolutely no penalty for abrogating.

Governments are not under threat of imprisonment, fines, termination, or other severe penalties that private business is when it can be proven that their actions were willfully negligent. Additionally, the government has no fear of "losing business" when they breach an acceptable level of confidentiality with regards to the data they've collected on someone. Business suffers when events like this occur... and Mr. Kerr can have no grasp on the reality of what constitutes suffering in the business world because government life doesn't operate in those terms.

It's a matter of congressional investigation when a breach occurs, and everyone and no one at the same time is held accountable. Very rarely are individuals actually singled out for the same kinds of treatment that has become commonplace in the business-world; the termination of employment at the least, for the mis-handling of confidential data.

So... while I am disappointed that Mr. Kerr cannot see why people would have a problem with not being able to expect and equate anonymity with privacy, I am not at all surprised.

Liberty First, Security Second [..or fifth] (2, Insightful)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316387)

Someone needs to inform these people that [their idea of] security is not the end all. They seem to act as if anything that is in the way of security has to be removed. Difficult to gather intelligence? Sorry. Tough shit. That's unfortunate but you'll have to work with it because we aren't giving up our liberties. I wish I could change everything that makes my job tough to suit my job first but that's not why I'm there.

I must add, that I think they're lying anyway. They will use that excuse to get greater control and a lot of feeble minds right now are bowing to the security threat bs. Grow a backbone already and tell these clowns to get stuffed.

Do you think... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316403)

...that the fourth amendment requiring reasonable cause, search warrants and so on was a burden in the past? I do. But the founding fathers understood something very important - the state isn't supposed to be the all-seeing eyes and ears, with the right to pry open every secret and search every bit of private information to make sure you're not doing anything improper. The files KGB and STASI kept on all citizens were seen as a hallmark of totalitarian governments, with their desire to control every bit of their citizens' lives. Every so often it is claimed that acting on suspicion and reasonable cause is not "efficient" enough, and that the government should be proactive through massive, intrusive surveilance without prior suspicion. Forget about showing your papers - that's only a coarse geographical location and doesn't even scratch the surface. A bug on your phone and internet connection is probably in many respects more effective than having an officer tail you around in person. Would you think it was ok if someone stalked you around all the time, as long as he was from the government? Why then do you accept him when he's there but not visible? There's never been a government in history, either through top-down totalitarianism or bottom-up corruption that hasn't vastly abused this information. To give up your anonymity is to give up your privacy and it is the stepping stone to giving up your liberty. While I don't like to quote Ayn Rand, it's the ultimate in gathering dirt on all your citizens. Loyalty to the state will be rewarded and troublemakers punished, starting with extra searches at the airport until you one day wake up and find you must either please the government or you're screwed.

Re:Do you think... (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316499)

Got Mod Points? Please mod the parent post UP!

Government: made of people. (1)

Xadnem (1120075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316407)

That'd be great, if the government were trustworthy, but last I checked our whole system was built on paranoia about the government overstepping. Second, the 'government' is made of people, people who often-times aren't that honest themselves. I once worked with a guy whose wife worked for the IRS. Through her he had full access to financial info on everyone in our office, and loved to prove it.

Very flawed premise (1)

laing (303349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316425)

"There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties."

There is no way to interact with the government except THROUGH private parties. Every individual who works for the government is a PRIVATE PARTY. The fact that they are SUPPOSED to be operating in an official capacity makes little difference to me. All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch (or in this case, to abuse my privacy).

History has demonstrated that these kinds of abuses by individuals acting in an official capacity do happen. As long as there are people involved, there's very little that can be done to safeguard information. This goes both ways; people are the greatest weakness when it comes to safeguarding government secrets as well.

The best solution is to enforce laws like the Privacy Act of 1974. Somewhere in there it prohibits the use of an SSN for anything other than Social Security.

--
This space for rent

No more anonymous piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21316457)

No thanks, took me more than 5 minutes to notice it's about "privacy" not piracy. I thought that one was dead anyway.

How about trying something different? (3, Insightful)

Chaos Motor (974072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316467)

Instead of "redefining" privacy to mean "we know your private data, but we'll be responsible with it", how about we re-institute actual privacy? Instead of giving our personal information to companies who lose it or sell it or share it, how about we the people guard our own data? Instead of keeping it on their computers, let's keep it on our own.

In my opinion, software as a service and registration based software are two of the biggest perpetrators of data and privacy violations. They take away your right to manage who knows what about you, forcing you to provide whatever data the "service provider" chooses or dictates that they "need".

1) Make it illegal to force consumers to turn over private information unless it's a functional requirement of the process (not just data mining or marketing enhancement)

2) Make it illegal for companies to sell or share ANY personally identifiable data they collect, even names, phone numbers, and addresses.

3) Dismantle companies that violate privacy laws, retain identifiable customer data, or insist on data that is not a necessity to do business.

It's pretty simple! You own YOUR OWN data. No one else has a right to it. No one can force you to turn it over to do business with them unless it's a functional necessity of doing business and not just a preference. Anyone that violates privacy laws is dismantled.

BUT! BUT! It won't happen, because we live in a fascist corporate pathocracy where companies and money rule politics, the individual citizen, nay citizens period, are not considered, asked, or involved in any decisions, and THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOUR DATA ALSO. So they can spy on you. It's all to protect YOU from the "terrists" you know.

Nevermind the true terrorists are OUR OWN GOVERNMENT.

Vague "terrorist threats", data mining, advertising, marketing, and "revenue enhancement" ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE REASONS TO DISMANTLE PRIVACY. Money and fear are NEVER reasons to willingly accept oppression or subordination.

Fight for your rights, America. Our rights aren't what some company claims they will recognize, or what our government claims they will 'allow'. These are inherent to our existence, and they are for US to decide, not someone else. Fight for your rights! Wake up before it's too late.

Trust is good control is better - Vladimir Lenin (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316469)

Welcome to the surveillance society.

Can't See Me! (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316475)

Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won. Anyone that's typed in their name on Google understands that

Anyone here perhaps, but there are still many, many people who won't show up in a Google search, or who will show up with only the most benign data. Your profile in Google searches pretty much depends on your activity on the 'net, (or in the public sphere) and on how much information you choose to make available.

None of which is relevant to any discussion surrounding government and privacy. They're supposed to protect you, not roll over and play dead.

Privacy never meant annonymity (1)

dokhebi (89124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316477)

The Right to Privacy, as put forth by the Constitution of the United States of America, never intended for any one to be anonymous. Anonymous people have no voice in the government because they are unkown and faceless. Only those who stand up to be counted, by their vote and their enumeration in a census, can be a part of the government.

Privacy means that the gevernment can't look into your life without just cause.

As always, this is only my $0.02 worth.

Donald Kerr got 2 words for you (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316495)

Treasonist bastard, also know as who you are.

Fundamentally! (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316525)

There is something fundamentally different from the government having information about you than private parties.

Yes: the government is five times more likely to leak it!

To ask the question is to answer it (1)

franois-do (547649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316543)

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Lord Acton, letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887

"Any Constitution tant does not take into account the fact that a government can be perverted is useless"

Maximilien de Robespierre

Without Anonymity (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21316557)

Without anonymity the small voice with be Bitch SLAPPed into silence!
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