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Presidential Candidates and Online Privacy

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.


noiseordinance writes "I'd like to know everyone's opinion about which presidential candidate seems most likely to preserve Internet privacy." We haven't officially started election coverage on Slashdot yet, but I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to start tossing out questions like this as we get closer to the primaries. Try to stay on the subject of on-line privacy- we can run more stories on other topics in the future.

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Ron Paul (5, Insightful)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503813)

He is the only one who believes in this &#&@* piece of paper called the Constitution. It takes a great man to realize and accept that there are limits on his power and let others govern themselves.

Re:Ron Paul (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503875)

Was this just a Ron Paul ad disguised as a story? I don't mind the guy, I voted for him in 88, but I don't like his followers, they seem too like David Duke too.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Funny)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504059)

Wait a sec, I'm a Jew, I back Ron Paul, I know other Jews that also back Ron Paul (no, not my family), so how are we like David Duke? There are David Duke types hanging around like fleas at the periphery of every campaign, but they are a minority on the fringe.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Funny)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504117)

Must be some usage of the term "insightful" with which I was previously unfamiliar. My advice to you, sir, is not to vote for any of Ron Paul's *supporters in the presidential election.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503913)

I agree. Ron Paul is the only candidate who would possibly give any real thought to protecting the internet along with any other form of free speech. Everyone else is for free speech, freedom of assembly, privacy, etc -- as long as it's in support of things they want to say or to. But they're against the privacy, speech and assembly of anyone that disagrees with them. Or more importantly, that they disagree with.

Of course, as a politician, Ron Paul (if he even actually had a chance), would become just another bullshit politician, so it's all a moot point. You don't become a viable candidate unless you have the support of the establishment (aristocrats, other politicians, corporations, religious organizations and unions). So no matter who you are or what side you supposedly are on or what you purport to be your values, the only viable and successful candidates are the ones who will do the bidding of the aforementioned groups. One may perform the duties of one organization or another slightly more than another candidate, but the degree of variation is minor (which of course is why there is nearly no difference between the two parties -- or even most official independent candidates).

But of course, people have this misguided believe that all they have to do to change the world is place a vote. Why, if you place a vote, it will ALL change. Bullshit candidates will somehow become viable, despite shirking the establishment and they'll stay true to their word and everyone else will side with them, even though they don't push the agreed upon religious or union agendas. Of course, that's why things will never change. You and I are taught from birth that the bullshit which has been constant for generations is somehow only a vote away from changing. That we have the true power. That, why, one vote can suddenly stop the massive waves of people on the left and right who want to control every aspect of our lives and our thoughts.

And as long as we buy into that -- and as long as we care more about the next episode of a show where someone dances with famous people or a bunch of nattering hens on a daily morning show or the success of our commercial sports team that share our exact . . . um . . . zip code -- we'll continue to get what we've always gotten. And continue to believe that we're somehow making things change, when they're staying the same.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Insightful)

OgreChow (206018) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504165)

Of course, as a politician, Ron Paul (if he even actually had a chance), would become just another bullshit politician, so it's all a moot point.

As far as I can see, he has yet to become a bullshit politician after years of serving in the senate.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Informative)

paitre (32242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504495)

House of Representatives, not Senate.

Point remains unchanged, though.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Informative)

mitgib (1156957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504515)

Of course, as a politician, Ron Paul (if he even actually had a chance), would become just another bullshit politician, so it's all a moot point.

As far as I can see, he has yet to become a bullshit politician after years of serving in the senate.
Other than the fact he is a member of the House, I agree, he has a proven track record. He is quick to state his point of view and just as quick to vote against his own view if it is outside the scope of the Constitution.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Offtopic)

swb311 (1165753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504391)

eh. He's pro life. That's mixing faith-based morals with law, which IMHO is about as bad as it gets.

Re:Ron Paul (3, Insightful)

paitre (32242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504573)

He's -=personally=- pro-life, but is politically pro-choice.

I know a number of people that are the same way (including myself - I could never condone someone having an abortion except in -very- specific circumstances, but that doesn't mean I'm going to force my personal beliefs on them and prevent them from having one if they feel it is something that they need to do. I could get more into it, but that would be veering further off topic).

Re:Ron Paul (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504399)

I like how this post was moderated as "insightful," as if no one has ever heard this tired-out pessimism before-- just a bunch of whining without offering a solution.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504517)

That's the point--what kind of solution could you possibly put forth? Have you got a way to make the masses care about 'important things' rather than TV, or Nintendo, or whatever? Have you got a way to rein in the influence of special interest groups with deep pockets on our politicians, when those same politicians have to woo those groups in order to remain in power? We shouldn't give up, of course. Keep voting for candidates who serve the people, keep raising awareness about these issues, but don't expect that someone will come up with a capital 'S' Solution to what's wrong with America today.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503937)

Libertarians are great except that they're isolationists in the jet age and they haven't seen any of their friends or relatives get addicted to hard drugs and waste away.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Insightful)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503973)

Friends with all nations but alliances with none. As Ron Paul has said many times our greatest export should be freedom but not through the barrel of a gun. I am firmly against empire building, which the US and many other nations have done for a while. We should be very much involved in world affairs, but not seek to control others.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504389)

I am firmly against empire building, which the US and many other nations have done for a while.

Right. Because Iraqis, Germans, Italians, Bosnians and Japanese have not had any elections since we introduced forces there. Can you name one sovereign nation that US has ever taken over in order to expand its borders and impose its laws over? Hint: Texas don't count.
In fact, after WWII the US forced many liberated countries to free their colonies, like Libya, Suriname, Indonesia to name a few.
You fail it.

Like it or not, the bad guys have guns. Hugs will not get it done, son.

Re:Ron Paul (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504051)

they haven't seen any of their friends or relatives get addicted to hard drugs and waste away.

Ah yes, legalization of drugs, of course (waaaay off topic). You'll vote for any of the other politicians because they've had their friends and relatives get addicted to hard drugs and waste away in pound-me-in-the-ass prison? Of course, isn't it funny for something the other politicians claim is so terrible that they have to throw the people doing it to themselves in prison that the politicians never seem to end up in prison when it's they're the ones doing it?

The fact that criminalization is just throwing people in prison and billions of dollars down the drain and has done little to solve the problem is lost on you. Is it really being "tough on crime" when it hasn't done jack shit for crime?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504155)

The fact that criminalization is just throwing people in prison and billions of dollars down the drain and has done little to solve the problem is lost on you. Is it really being "tough on crime" when it hasn't done jack shit for crime?
I said nothing of the sort, thank you anonymous troll: demand AND supply must be eradicated. Farmers in 3rd world plots should get legitimate crops to grow and potential users need much better education about the risks and other activities like meaningful employment. Disincentives like jail alone don't work hardly at all. Creating extra demand by legalizing, and therefore putting a tacit stamp of approval on, hard drugs is NOT the solution.

Re:Ron Paul (5, Insightful)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504387)

Ignoring the strawman* you've erected for the moment, let's talk about the war on drugs and tell me how you expect to stop the flow of drugs. My brother-in-law got busted for smoking pot in September. Trouble was, at the time he was already in a maximum security prison, and has been for nearly seventeen years now. So please tell me: If we can't keep illicit drugs away from felons in a maximum security prison, how do you propose we keep them away from 300 million people in the third largest country in the world, geographically speaking? If your answer is to turn the entire country into a giant ultra-supermax gulag, you've pretty much admitted defeat in my eyes, as I find that wholly unacceptable.

* - I have a friend who had a terrible heroin addiction for years. He's been clean for about six years now, but I'm still opposed to the war on drugs. Also, compare and contrast: isolationist vs. non-interventionist. Pat Buchanan is an isolationist. Most libertarians are non-interventionists... though it is a fair cop to say some have isolationist tendencies.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504409)

Hmm... you've got an interesting way of deciding which freedoms to support. Anyways...

One of my best friends barely survived a drug OD; he spent days in a coma. As a result of years of drugs abuse he now hears voices and has suffered horrible memory loss. Currently I don't even know if he's alive any more... it's rather hard to keep up when he's moved out of state and doesn't have anything even resembling a permanent address.

He made his choices, and while they're not the ones I would have made, it's not my place to tell him what he can and can't do TO HIMSELF. That is his decision, and his decision alone. I feel bad that I couldn't convince him not to follow that path... but I don't feel bad that I didn't force him off of it. That'd be akin to slavery; it's not my place to force him to live as I wish.

Oh, I'm not even a liberatian... although I do agree with some of thier positions. (But then I agree with some Republican and some Democratic positions as well)

I was absolutely pro-Ron Paul until... (4, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503987)

...until I found out about his opinion regarding the Darfur genocide (watch this excellent Frontline special online [] if you have no clue what is happening over there).

While I can understand his not wanting to send troops over there to stop the government from slaughtering its own people, I can not understand his voting against the Divestment Act of 2007 (passed 418-1), which intended "to require the identification of companies that conduct business operations in Sudan, [and] to prohibit United States Government contracts with such companies".

Basically, the act says that if a company is directly helping the Sudanese government act out the genocide of their own people, the US government would not sign a contract with that country.

When I read Paul's argument [] , I was even more appalled. Not only did he ignore the currently-known results of divesting from Sudan (in other words, it's working!), he also had the gall to (purposely?) confuse the Darfur genocide with the completely separate North-South civil war. So his basic argument was "we shouldn't be getting involved with other countries' civil wars"

Typo (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504033)

"if a company is directly helping the Sudanese government act out the genocide of their own people, the US government would not sign a contract with that country."

This should read:

"if a company is directly helping the Sudanese government act out the genocide of their own people, the US government would not sign a contract with that company."

Link to Paul's completely confused speech (2, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504103)

Here is Paul's speech [] in which he confuses the Darfur genocide with the North-South civil war - two completely separate issues (the Sudanese government even said that they were delaying a peace agreement to end the civil war, in order to have a "lasting solution in Darfur" [] ).

Re:I was absolutely pro-Ron Paul until... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504175)

Non-intervention is a tough road to follow. There are a lot of issues, like this one that make it very unpalatable indeed.

The question I would ask, about the genocide situation is: Can we fix it? How can we help?

If you have one powerful group hell-bent on killing another group there would seem to be only a small number of solutions to this problem.

Are any of those do-able?

How did the powerful get that way? Why aren't those being killed fighting back? Is there anywhere they could go? Can we simply kill all the aggressors, and are there none that would simply replace them?

I think we should offer humanitarian aid, publicly shame Americans who do not oppose the genocide, take in and aid any refugees, refuse to deal with or speak to the aggressors, etc.

All of this and more can be done without directly intervening in the conflict and potentially making a bad situation much, much worse.

Divestment IS NOT intervention (2, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504331)

Please do not confuse divestment with intervention - there is too much at stake for people to (purposely or ignorantly) confuse the two. There's a big difference between the US government saying to companies, "if you are providing the Sudan government with the equipment to help them mow down their own people, then you will not be entitled to any US government contracts" (ie, divestment) and the US government sending troops over there to protect the victims (intervention).

I can understand Paul being against intervention, but not against divestment.

"Why aren't those being killed fighting back?"

Unlike the Sudanese government, the victims are just villagers, not being supported heavily by China or other companies. Sudan sends out helicopters that mow them down in the middle of the night, one village at a time.

"Is there anywhere they could go?"

They have tried running across the west border to Chad, but the murderers, who are simply bandits paid by the Sudan government, followed them across the border, and are now attacking the humanitarian camps.

"Can we simply kill all the aggressors, and are there none that would simply replace them?"

The aggressors on the ground are bandits (they do the raping and torture) - it'd be hard to fight them off, but they and the helicopters and planes that do the mass killing are funded by the Sudanese government and China, and companies which US citizens invest in. Telling those companies we will not support what they support has been effective in Sudan. For Paul to act otherwise (ignorantly or not) is ridiculous.

Re:Ron Paul (0, Offtopic)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504001)

Who trolled me? You may disagree but this is not a troll. That is using mod points unwisely and destroying the point of slashdot.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504173)

Indeed. As soon as I saw this article, I thought "I'm not getting involved". Entering a political discussion on /. has got to be the single quickest way to lose karma!

Re:Ron Paul (5, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504015)

What are you talking about? The Constitution says nothing about Internet privacy, so Ron Paul would leave that issue to local control or the free market. Consider his position on the FDA -- he says that it's not necessary for any government body to ensure that drugs or supplements are safe because people will stop buying from companies that sell dangerous ones. Such a president wouldn't care if Google is snooping your search results -- they'd tell you to deal with it or use some other search engine.

Don't get me wrong -- Ron Paul is an interesting candidate, and there are great advantages to a constitutional form of government. I just think that he's becoming the new Ralph Nader, with this underground movement which considers him the solution to all of our problems. He's certainly not the solution to Internet privacy concerns.

MOD PARENT UP (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504121)

Now this is a post that needs to be modded up! Everything timster wrote is completely true. Ron Paul makes the ridiculously huge assumption that everyone that takes part in our society is totally informed on everything and that they will use that knowledge in making their choices. Reality has shown us time and time again that that is not the case.


InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504203)

A very good summary of Paul's general views. While I was entirely supportive of Ron Paul until very recently [] , I do agree with a lot of the Constitutional "hands off" approaches, however I believe that this only works up to a point. Companies are much too skilled at fucking people over these days. It doesn't make sense any longer for a government to assume that the free market will just work itself out. It's ignorance more than anything that drives these sweeping arguments that are basically saying "leave me alone, I don't want to get involved, I don't care what's happening"

Re:Ron Paul (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504295)

Actually, the 4th addresses the issue of privacy, as it pertains to the government, pretty well. Likewise, the commerce clause would enable Congress to pass laws in this arena when dealing with businesses. For the remainder, a president like Paul would enable the State and local authorities, and would give them the power to serve their constituents.

Just because he's against a large oppressive Federal government doesn't mean he is against ALL government.

And on this specific issue, I think he is correct. For example, if your ISP is spying on you, and you don't want that, you would be able to take appropriate action: change ISP's, use encryption, use Tor, etc.

The ISP could only refuse your business. And if they're enjoying the benefits of being a monopoly, that could be pretty difficult to do. They would have no other power over you.

Now, replace 'ISP' above with 'government'. Changing governments is no simple task. Use encryption and Tor and you could well wind up in Gitmo.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504415)

"For example, if your ISP is spying on you, and you don't want that, you would be able to take appropriate action: change ISP's, use encryption, use Tor, etc."

I live in an apartment and only have one choice of ISP. What do you suggest I do? I also edit Wikipedia a lot, and Wikipedia has banned most Tor IPs. What do you suggest I do?

Bullshit (1)

michaelepley (239861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504143)

Almost every person in the country and all serious politicians claim to believe in and and honor the "Constitution". But is just words on a paper, and susceptible to many reasonable (as in not patently unreasonable) interpretations. And frankly, many of Paul's are well outside the political and legal mainstream.

I really hate the term "believe" as applied to shit like this. The Constitution just exists, there is nothing to believe in; just advance the best argument you can for whatever interpretive position serves you best like everyone else. Then see if your positions have any merit. Hint: Paul is competing against 200+ years and millions of legal scholars before him; somehow I doubt he is so brilliant("great") as to overturn all that.

Re:Bull (1)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504293)

I firmly believe firmly believe that 'it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.' There have been dictators throughout the ages. Why should America be any different? Because of our Constitution. But men, for years, have been seeking to destroy it. Did you know that Edward Mandell House, the top adviser to Wilson, despised the Constitution? Did you know Alger Hiss, an adviser to FDR, was a communist agent? Are you aware that Bush Sr. said that 'we hereby pledge our sacred honor to the UN'? Did you know that communism is Russia would have failed early on without US financial support? Study history outside of what you were taught in public schools. Try to learn how many things have been justified. For example, federal roads, under interstate commerce? No, the founders said that this did not include roads. It was justified under national defense. Federal involvement in education? That was after sputnik, which was a lie as we could have launched a whole year earlier but we didn't. I could go on and on but you need to learn for these things yourself. I suggest you start with the North American Union and the Federal Reserve. Scary stuff.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Informative)

sseaman (931799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504211)

He is the only one who believes in this &#&@* piece of paper called the Constitution.

Except for the parts of the Constitution he doesn't like, and wants to amend, as he admits on his own website [] .

I've introduced legislation that would amend the Constitution and end automatic birthright citizenship. The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868, on the heels of the Civil War. The country, especially the western territories, was wide open and ripe for homesteading. There was no welfare state to exploit, and the modern problems associated with immigration could not have been imagined.

He's also rabidly pro-life. While I won't argue the merits of Roe vs. Wade, the majority of American courts have considered a woman's right to choose a fundamental Constitutional right for 30 years. Perhaps he's only pro-Constitution on issues you care about?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504499)

He's also rabidly pro-life

What's wrong with having that decision on the states or even better, the local municipalities?

As a male, I don't have a dog in that fight. I can respect both sides of the issue but face it, we're not all New Englanders, Southerners, Mid-westerners, Westerners, or whatever. Tough decisions are better made locally than federally.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504525)

What's wrong with amending the Constitution? It was made to be amended. It's the people who try to breach the Constitution without legally amending it that are the problem. As far as Roe vs. Wade, just because the current political climate seems to be pro-abortion (we'll assume that for argument's sake), does that mean we shouldn't entertain further discourse? And where in the Constitution does it plainly say that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT reserves the right to regulate pregnancies? In fact, it says that all rights not granted to the federal government are reserved for the STATES or the PEOPLE. If the residents of a particular state or county decide they don't want to allow abortions in their community, shouldn't they be allowed to decide?

Re:Ron Paul (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504217)

I recently had to do research on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act [] , which included reading the debate in the House of Reps about it. Ron Paul was one of those who stood up to speak near the end, but instead of stating support or opposition to the bill (or substitute), he went on a fairly long speech about this being a state's right and not something that Congress can enact upon.

It seems that he kind of skirted the issue at hand (one can take that he was opposed to both ideas, but he doesn't say it explicitly), but I do admire that he was willing to bring the point to bear, regardless if it was ignored by everyone else in the Senate (and it was).

My hat is currently in the ring for Kucinich, but if he can't make the primaries and Paul does, I would certainly vote for him. I don't agree with everything he has to say, but he's far better than many of the other candidates.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504435)

After reading your post I pulled up a searchable copy of the full text of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. I did a search on "privacy" and all I got was the link to the privacy policy of the website--the word is apparently not found in the Constitution.

The only thing I could find in the document that seems to make any sense whatsoever of your statement is the 4th Amendment to the Constitution regarding unreasonable search and seizure. I suppose it may apply if a person's email etc sitting on someone else's servers could be interpreted as an extension of a person's "papers" and "effects." My understanding is that it currently takes a court order to get at these materials, just like it takes a court order to get at non-virtual "papers" and "effects."

So I guess I don't understand how a candidate's supposed "belief" in the Constitution would cause him to apply some heightened level of protection to virtual "papers" and "effects" housed on a server owned by some third party in California. That would be above the requirements of the Constitution--such laws would be constitutional, but I don't see where you get your interpretation that the Constitution requires such a level of privacy.

I think what you meant to say is that you think Ron Paul is the candidate who would support going above and beyond the call of the Constitution when it comes to Internet privacy, supporting the tradition of the Internet being a "place" in which users may remain anonymous.

I'm not entirely sure that Ron Paul would verbally support such a position if you ask him--the problem with it is that it would sound like he supports making the Internet a haven for criminals. That, of course, would find support only with the minority of the populous.

everyone's opinion? (3, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503839)

I'd like to know everyone's opinion about which presidential candidate
Before it even starts, can we just mod the entire discussion 'troll' and 'flamebait'? Instead of trawling for opinions, please browse either the Senate voting records or gubernatorial voting records of the candidates.

Re:everyone's opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503907)

Yes, let's start basing political decisions of the country on opinions posted to slashdot comments. Part of me is terrified, part of me thinks well slashdot couldn't make it worse than it really is. I have a choice between various incompetent political jackasses who, despite saying "I'm different" are really only concerned with how they can use the position to help themselves instead of their country.

Perhaps we could cut out all of this election nonsense and just do the slashdot poll method. I look forward to President Neil's inauguration day!

opinions are overrated (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503939)

First post nailed this one right away. While I'm interested in each candidates view on the internet and internet privacy, I could care less about other people's opinion of these views. Especially given that most opinions posted will likely be filled with self-serving touting of some candidates and tearing others down.

Re:everyone's opinion? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503955)

Before it even starts, can we just mod the entire discussion 'troll' and 'flamebait'?
That's what tags are for, dude.

Re:everyone's opinion? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504585)

Wait a minute, thats EXACTLY what a freedom hater liberal would say!!

Freedom hater!!

Freedom hater!!

I've heard good things about this S. Ballmer guy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503849)

He's running on a platform of interoperability with open source and renewable seating resources. Oh, and I hear he's a great dancer.

Re:I've heard good things about this S. Ballmer gu (1)

rjmx (233228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504301)

> and renewable seating resources

You mean chairware?

Dennis Kucinich (5, Informative)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503851)

Haven't seen or heard anything specific to online privacy. I'd be willing to be it's low on the list of issues for most.

I'd guess Dennis Kucinich [] given his website statements regarding the Patriot Act [] and other government policies that deal with (directly or indirectly) an individual's privacy. I would expect that view extends to the online world.

Re:Dennis Kucinich (2, Informative)

sunami (751539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504023)

From that link:
Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate to have voted against the Patriot Act. He did something the others should have: He actually read the bill
(my emphasis)

I think that right there is a wonderful reason to not vote for the other candidates.

Re:Dennis Kucinich (1)

DigiAngel (1191735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504485)

Ron Paul voted against the Patriot Act.

But Socialists refute private property rights (0, Flamebait)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504193)

But he's such a raging socialist, he'd invariably make a grab for my private property rights and they are as important as privacy.

Re:But Socialists refute private property rights (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504421)

I haven't seen the Republican Congress/White House do anything to stop those ridiculous eminent domain seizures of private property just so that a Walmart can be built in its place.

Re:Dennis Kucinich (3, Informative)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504463)

Kucinich does support net neutrality: []

He has also been one of the strongest supports of civil liberties in the house and has repeatedly voted down legislation that erodes away americans civil liberties.

I'm guessing (0, Troll)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503879)

The person with the most to hide online will be the one pushing for the strongest online privacy laws. 2 cents

Re:I'm guessing (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504125)

But that's a statement that privacy itself has no use. Many people would disagree. There are plenty of reasons for wanting privacy without having anything to hide. But I'll let you do your own research on that.

I"d tell you... (2, Funny)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503885)

but it's an invasion of the candidate's privacy.

Ron Paul (3, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503889)

I don't think he's got a shot at really getting elected, but of all the candidates he seems to be the most likely to stand up for Constitutional rights. Second to him is, for Internet privacy at least, is possibly Obama. I don't think Obama can stay away from the pull of Hollywood and various *AA's to maintain full Internet privacy though.

The rest either don't care so much about the Constitution or are so far in the pockets of special interests that the only thing I can be sure of is that it's going to continue being a bumpy ride for the next four years.

Re:Ron Paul (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503931)

Like most politicians, Obama will support the internet policies that his lobbiests tell him to support.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503993)

I find him to be refreshingly contrary for a politician. He was just talking up open data formats, despite the fact that Microsoft is building a 500 million dollar data ceneter in his state.

Re:Ron Paul (2, Informative)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503983)

Ditto on Paul, Obama...though I maintain the naive hope that Obama is more independent of those interests than we might assume. What I like about Obama in addition is his stance about the government's privacy rights; namely, he doesn't think there are any. His stance on government online operability and transparency is refreshing and, so far, unreplicated by the others, even Paul. IIRC, he did some good stuff on both in the Illinois legislature dduring his stint there; caught my eye.

So sensible you would have thought someone would have shot those two by now. (Kidding, Secret Service! Kidding...). :) This sort of reasonable and principled policy approach cannot be allowed to mainstream in American politics!

Re:Ron Paul (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504045)

I don't think he's got a shot at really getting elected, but of all the candidates he seems to be the most likely to stand up for Constitutional rights.
I agree, and would add that he is the only one I'm aware of that is not a big fan of the war on terror. When asked in New Hampshire about what he would do to 'repeal the PATRIOT Act', he said that it wouldn't be possible for the President alone to do that. His plan, then, would be to simply not use the powers it grants, and wait for it to expire while working with Congress to get it fixed.

My fear about most of the rest of the field is that they would continue to use 'terrorism' to further their political goals, spy on Americans, and bully other nations around the world.

I don't think Obama can stay away from the pull of Hollywood and various *AA's to maintain full Internet privacy though.
This also is a huge plus in Paul's favor. He doesn't take any money from special interest groups, and to the best of my knowledge he never has. In fact, he's already opted out of his Congressional pension, so it seems pretty clear he's not in it for the money.

In that light, he would likely be very difficult for the media groups to influence.

Re:Ron Paul (1)

sseaman (931799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504101)

I don't think he's got a shot at really getting elected, but of all the candidates he seems to be the most likely to stand up for Constitutional rights.

Except [] these [] Constitutional [] rights [] .

Re:Ron Paul (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504237)

Having funding for research is a Constitutional right? Which article? Ditto for abortion. I am pro-choice, but I don't think that's a constitutional issue. The Constitution just doesn't talk about anything related to it. As for the 1st Ammendment, read it. Specifically think about what the 2nd part of the 1st sentence means.

You are right, of course, about his opposition to birthright citizenships. But at least, he respects the Constitution enough to say that it needs to be changed before the Federal Government can act as if it had been changed (as it does in the case of Drug War).

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504317)

Federal subsidy is not a constitutional right. Part of making a more free society in Paul's eyes is freeing the public from forcably funding research they might not agree with. I don't want to pay taxes to pay for faith based charities around the world just because they give out a pack of Fritos stapled to a Bible. The solution as Paul sees it is to not fund any initiative and let the private sector remain competative; let competition for results drive research.

Paul does oppose abortion, but more imporantly he sees it as a state right instead of a federal right. I don't agree, but its not an vote to ban abortion just un-delegate it.

Birthright citizenship is a loophole in naturalization that leads to far more complications than had ever been anticipated when it was created. The standard "well, the kids a citizen, can't deport the parents." Citizenship is like copyright law, antiquated and inflexible in modern age. America does need to redefine what citizenship is and what it means.

Not their job. (4, Insightful)

Rahga (13479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503919)

It's the executive branch's job to uphold the law... but as it is right now, there's no shortage of laws that pay lip service to the need of ISPs and such to keep private e-mail private, while another batch of laws circumvent this in a wide array of circumstances both dealing with national security and private matter. Say, a publicly traded company can't exactly keep e-mail secure if there potential for insider trading.

Not that the public really has a clue, though... Sadly, we've learned that our local public schools will gladly hand over authority to the federal government in exchange for a few measly dollars, so any presidential candidate could make a promise dealing with a matter that he/she officially has no role in, and you can be that laws will be passed and departments created that make it their role.

Bluntly? None are interested in your privacy. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503941)

Simple as that. Privacy means less control, and by going into politics, they already proved that they want to be in control. Furthermore, more privacy for you means less information for the industry, i.e. the ones that gave the politicians money.

Privacy isn't something any politician will give you. Privacy is something you have to take if you want it. Voting for privacy simply won't work.

Re:Bluntly? None are interested in your privacy. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504277)

I wouldn't say that ALL politicians are in it for the power; just all the major party candidates. Ralph Nader, for all the complaints about him, was one of the few honest politicians who actually wanted to help the general public (and did, for decades, before becoming a politician). Major parties can't afford to have people like Nader running, because as you say, their money comes from industries and Nader has never been a friend of big businesses.

Unfortunately, of the major party candidates, I can only say who will worsen the privacy situation: Hillary Clinton. If you doubt it, just look at some of the crap she's proposed or voted for in the senate. As president, I could see her pushing mandatory DRM, mandatory TPM chips, immunity for anyone collaborating with the NSA wiretap program, and a strong push further down the "I have nothing to hide so I don't need privacy" road.

Re:Bluntly? None are interested in your privacy. (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504279)

This is generally true. Unless someone runs on a platform of decreasing the role of the government. Have you really not hear d any of Ron Paul's positions?

Re:Bluntly? None are interested in your privacy. (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504577)

Also, by running for president the candidates give up most of their own privacy. Their past will be scrutinized, their associates drilled for secrets, everything they say will be protocolled, every mistake reported in the media the next day.

Anyone willing to put up with that does not value his own privacy very high, so is unlikely to value others right to privacy much either.

The canidate... (1)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503945)

That doesn't support the RIAA of course.

FredDC (2, Interesting)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503949)

I'm not an American, but because the US is so influential in the world these elections are also important and interesting to me. This will have an indirect result on my life as well.

On the subject of online privacy, anything the US government decides on this matter will certainly affect me. Many sites (like Slashdot) that I visit are created and hosted in the US.

If the US decides to invade my privacy when visiting these sites, I will stay away from them. I have already decided to no longer visit the US, as long as it means having my fingerprints taken and such. I am not a criminal and I don't wish to be treated as one! I hope the US citizens (or at least enough of them) realize they are alienating themselves from the rest of the world. And that isn't in the best interest for any of us!

Re:FredDC (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504429)

Unfortunately what US citizens realize seems to have very little effect on US laws or military actions. In theory, US citizens should be able to vote for a candidate that supports their opinions on matters, but in practice virtually none do. The entire exercise of electing presidents and senators is essentially a giant gamble to find the lesser evil of the bunch, further complicated by inconsistent and indecisive voting among the public. I think that the close elections that have become all to prevalent recently are a strong indicator that politicians in general are becoming increasingly homogenized and any perceived difference between candidates is mostly an illusion sustained to convince people that their votes actually count for something.

International? (1)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503963)

And given Slashdot's international audience nowadays, will we do this for every country holding elections?

Re:International? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504233)

We will do this for every superpower through which more than 75% of the world's communications infrastructure is routed, yes.

Ron Paul (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503989)

Ron Paul's stance on Privacy and Personal Liberty [] .

"The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens' personal matters."

Re:Ron Paul (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504385)

This is what I expected. Unfortunately he doesn't think that the issue of corporate invasion of personal privacy is something that he should pay attention to. I'm curious about how so many technical people can be behind Ron Paul on an issue like this, when they should be aware of the massive databases of personal information that companies like Google are collecting.

Remember (4, Insightful)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504011)

Right to privacy is not a specific constitutional right. It is inferred from a couple different amendments,(3,4,10 I believe) so claiming that someone who is a strict constitutionalist would be big supporter of privacy would not work. That doesn't mean the right doesn't exist, but it does mean that it is open to more interpretation than other "rights". I always hate a "right to privacy" debate, because it doesn't have any sort of set definition.

Re:Remember (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504089)

The right to privacy exists because the constitution does not give the government power to infringe on your privacy. The bill of rights is merely reiterating something that you already have. Remember the bill of rights is not an enumeration of your rights, but a listing of some the government is being explicitly forbidden to infringe on. People have rights. The Government has powers granted to it by the people.

Re:Remember (5, Interesting)

Dr. Donuts (232269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504377)

You've got it exactly backwards, and unfortunately many folks have a hard time understanding Constitutional logic.

First, you have *ALL* rights. ALL means ALL. Whether they are enumerated/defined or not, you have them. The Constitution was written specifically in this manner, so not to suggest that the People got their rights from the Government or laws, but rather the other way around.

The impact of such logical construction of the Constitution means that rights that were undefinable or even unfathomable back then were *automatically* protected from infringement by the Government.

Amendment 10 further extended this logic, by actually explicitly stating all rights are reserved by the People and the States, rather than just implying it.

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504519)

The constitution sets limits on the power of government. When the feds overstep the particular powers shown in the constitution, they've violated it. That's no guarantee that a strict constitutionalist won't attribute removing privacy to accomplishing some goal explicitly set out in the constitution, but it makes it a lot harder. The less they do, the less likely they'll be to abuse their power.

Question: Is it needed? (1)

aron1231 (895831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504027)

There have been many articles recently discussing the disappearance of online privacy (or, privacy in general). While I'm traditionally a huge proponent of individual privacy, I'm beginning to think that, as our digital/information age progresses, privacy will be a thing of the past - at least, to the extent that the average citizen can expect privacy.

Currently I, and several like me, fight for our privacy. But, are we better served by doing so? Our privacy will be violated if those who desire to do so have sufficient power and/or resources, so I believe, in our age, it is a moot point. Perhaps we would be better served by making it institutional law that NOBODY has privacy. Everyone has access to information about everyone else.

Before I get flamed, think about it. If this were *actually achieved* (note the hopeful emphasis), politicians could no longer easily hide behind untrue words spoken with conviction. We would be better equipped to discover the pedophile terrorizing the local town, or discover which corrupt army official is taking bribes to transport arms to other countries. If privacy is eroding to the point of no return anyway, why not get something truly useful out of it, instead of fighting tooth and nail against it while politicians make "special rules" that they can easily enforce for themselves, making their lives private, and setting us at further disadvantage.

I would like input - like I said, I'm a huge fan of privacy, so I'm going out on a limb here... but it just seems like we're trying to delay the inevitable, when we could be using it to our favor.

Bad Thesis (1)

Chysn (898420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504049)

> I'd like to know everyone's opinion about which presidential candidate seems most likely to preserve Internet privacy.


Bwa ha ha ha!

None.... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504063)

It depends on where the money is flowing. And for the Govt./business there's plenty of cash to be had in selling our rights. Political affiliation makes no difference. Though I support business growth, big and small, .

Re:None.... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504323)

If you can find any evidence of Ron Paul 'selling our rights' I will gladly eat my hat.

I'll even post it on YouTube.

We've had a lot of Jack Johnson and John Jackson over the years, but this candidate is different, and you should really check him out.

What Americans Think (1)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504067) []

According to a Ponemon Institute survey written up on, people think Obama is the candidate most likely to care about privacy, and Giuliani is the one most likely to care the least. There's some errors in the survey results (of course Ron Paul got less than 5 percent, nobody knows who the fuck he is), but its interesting to see.

Of course this only bares a vague resemblance to the candidates' *actual* stances on privacy...

Certainly none of the DEMs (0, Flamebait)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504127)

The entire party has a policy of wanting to get up in everyones affairs. They also bend over and grab their ankles for any company or organization that comes calling wanting to screw with US citizen's rights. They SUCK the at the RIAA and MPAA tit for campaign contributions, thats a bad sign right here.

Re:Certainly none of the DEMs (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504431)

You are full of it. The democrats have given far more support for the net neutrality laws than republicans have [] , and in the power grabs after 9-11, the democrats have been far more concerned about the civil rights violations. Overall democrats have tended more to vote against freedom depriving laws like the patriot act and resist power grabs and more erosion of your privacy.

Ron Paul (1, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504185)

Well, I'll get modded down for this for sure -- but I feel the need to point out that:
* There are many individuals who would consider a total ban on abortions to be a major invasion of privacy, and
* Ron Paul is, from the statements on his website, 100% against any sort of legal abortion.

Other than that (and some deep skepticism about his idea to eliminate the Fed), he really does sound like a straight shooter. I respect the man, but can't vote for him.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504273)

I've heard him say he is personally anti-abortion, but he does NOT believe it's a federal issue. he says it is a state's rights issue and can be decided on that level.

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504471)

No - abortion is a social and family issue, not a privacy one, as it is between mother and child, and society is the accumulation of families. Therefore, his position on privacy would be consistent with his oposition to abortion.

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504523)

as it is between mother and child, and society

Did you mean?

as it is between mother, father and child, and society

Re:Ron Paul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504619)

Ron Paul is 100% against abortion, perhaps that comes from being an OBY/GYN. Whenever there has been legislation regarding an outright ban on abortion, Ron Paul has voted against it.

Put another way, Ron Paul opposes abortion as long as it's not the Federal government saying we can't have it.

The Constitution does not authorize Congress to determine whether abortion should be legal. Thus the abortion issue would fall under the Tenth Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

nowhere left to hide now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504191)

which is no big deal if one is not consorting with unprecedented evile.

the lights are coming up all over now. don't forget to take a moment now&then to look up at the sky, starting early in the morning. also, try to make eye contact with the people you pass by during the day. see you there?

Summary (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504195)

For the vast majority, if not all, of the Presidential candidates who stand anything approaching a chance of winning this election:

- For protecting their own privacy on the Internet
- Against protecting your privacy on the Internet

I hope that helps.

Dennis Kucinich (4, Informative)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504215)

Dennis Kucinich has repeatedly voted against bills that would deprive americans of their freedom and privacy. He voted against the Patriot Act which erodes away key civil liberties, and the "Thought Crime Bill" [] , which could be, which is so broadly worded and loosely defined it could be used against peaceful activists. Even Ron Paul did not vote against the Thought Crime Bill. Kucinich was one of only 6 representatives to vote against it. If you want freedom, and you want your liberties preserved, the best choice is Kucinich.

Rudy On Rails! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504289)

Rudy On Rails is the obvious winner here, move along please, and by reading this post you have already complied to any terms past or present that your new overlord wishes so there is no need to accept or welcome him as such.

Ron Paul is a phony (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504327)

But if the election was between him and Kucinich, at least we would have a horse race. With our present slate of front runners, you can forget about any kind of privacy, online or off. We have a long way to go before civil rights becomes a real issue again.

Clearly, Ron Pual (1)

JeremyDuffy (1024241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504369)

He's the only one who's even close to saying what needs to be said. Of course, I'd respect him more if he'd flat out call Bush a criminal and call for his impeachment, but that's another story.

ron paul and net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21504467)

Ron Paul is not committed to net neutrality. He is committed to an "open market" which includes letting corporations off for all the money they have already paid the government and letting them set the rules for the segment of the internet they control. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are more suited to protecting the internet than a free market libertarian.

IAASPS (2, Interesting)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504501)

(I Am A Student of Political Science)

Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul are the two on either side of the aisle that seem most likely to preserve Internet Privacy. That said, they are probably also the two running that have the least likelihood of even placing in a primary. Besides not looking presidential, they both have very unique (among their fellow candidates at least) agendas. Paul would like to shut down just about every government agency and put an end to all positive liberties. Kucinich is for more (suprisingly enough) contemporarily liberal reforms, taking us in not quite the opposite direction, but pushing for more positive liberties. Both are interested in individual rights and are (for now) in it for something other than promoting the interests of contributors.

Here... (3, Funny)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504591)

Both of the slashdot users that won't be voting Ron Paul can enjoy their own thread.

the federal gov't grows regardless of who we elect (1)

PdMYmU (1195385) | more than 6 years ago | (#21504595)

a candidate that promises open government won't be able to deliver it. The next 8 years will see more taxes, larger government and less privacy no matter who is President.

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