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Information Harvesting & Sale





Vrythramax
My questions are mostly geared towards US citizens, but any and all thoughts are welcome.

I saw a program today that showed how the US Government was hiring private companies to harvest personal information and/or buying such info from private contractors in thier bid to fight terrorism. They [the Government] claim that they are using this info, which is in the form of buying trends, travel habits, medical records, credit histories, etc., to help prevent future acts of terrorism by identifying potential terrorists before the acts are commited.

My question(s) are this...

How is this information going to help identify [potential] terrorists in any way?

Should the Government be allowed to use personal info of this nature in any way or is it a violation of our privacy?

With the advent of the Patriot Act should we (US Citizens) be allowed the assumption of privacy in matters concerning National security?

Should companies that do collect this info make it availble to the Government or for sale to other companies, or should it be considered confidential...even though people made it public themselves by filling out polls, quizes, etc.?

I have many more questions along these lines, but I am sure many of them will be answered with healthy debate.
myrevolt
I think the Patriot Act is such bullshit. It has nothing to do what-so-ever with "terrorism" its simply to elminate our rights, the Bill of Rights/Ammendments to the Constitution. They government wants more and more power, but thats not the problem it is WHO is getting this information and HOW they plan to use it.

Moreover, there are such things as Pres. Bush's desire to ban gay marriage on the Constitutional level. Now all biases aside, taking away rights was never part of the plan when it came to ammending the "law of the land", it was to provide more freedoms to the common man. If we look back at our history (personally I think EVERY politician should be required to either major or greatly research US History as well as World History; because 90% of the time they make the same mistakes that other leaders have made in the past). Prohibition, didn't work; if you realize that taking away rights on the federal level, rather than letting individual states stipulate what they want to enforce, doesn't work one wouldn't try it again; lead to mafia. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

The Patriot Act gives law enforcement the right to search buildings/homes/etc. without a court order to search the premises (court orders are now pointless)

"Terrorism" is the new Communism/Red Scare. The government has taken advantage of the general public's fears as well as created that fear with propaganda in much the same way they did in the Cold War Era. "You can survive nuclear fallout hiding under your desk" Hogwash.

I realize I got off topic. Yeah the case to force Google to hand-over search information was more about Big Brother than enforcing child pornography laws. The more information they have on us, the more they can take out "resistance" a.k.a. anyone that opposes their policies.


*shift eyes* Big Brother is watching me... *runs away*
alkady
How is that information going to be of use?

Well thats not hard, Terrorist are no different from you and me, They are humans liker us, but before they kill themselves, Dont they do something extravagant before killing themselves? Dont they pray to god while preforming a ceremonial rite? Don't they buy equipment to do the job?

But too bad this is most likely to be targeted at Muslims since the US probably regards them as terrorist.
Vrythramax
alkady wrote:
How is that information going to be of use?

Well thats not hard, Terrorist are no different from you and me, They are humans liker us, but before they kill themselves, Dont they do something extravagant before killing themselves? Dont they pray to god while preforming a ceremonial rite? Don't they buy equipment to do the job?

But too bad this is most likely to be targeted at Muslims since the US probably regards them as terrorist.


Good point, but how are they [the Government] going to be able to differenciate (sp. ??) between a normal purchase made by someone who just came into some extra $$$ and a [potential] terrorist? If they were buying quantities of ammonium nitrate & fuel oil I could understand, but most of these people have thier supplies smuggled in to avoid such detection.
Jack_Hammer
The few ruin it for the many, that is what it comes down to basically, either you get this 'Big Brother' system where everyhing is moniterd (Which I think should be used because all though we would have little privacy if you aren't doing anything wrong (Legally) then what should you have to hide), and it would obviously be hard to monitor everything so people that don't break the law would get monitored less etc. Though in america the laws tend to be very black and white, either someone did do it, or they didn't (or let off on a techinicality which is stupid, if someone did something they should get punished). Either that, or go way OTT and make a law, that if anyone breaks a law (Make a whole new set of laws) that if they do ANYTHING wrong they should die. I'm sure that pretty soon no-one would break the law at all. Then you could slacken them.
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