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Privacy, Government, Surveillance, and You.:

 1 Achaemenid, Sat, 4th May '13 10:28:42 AM from Mitakihara Town, Copenhagen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
In the course of their duties, law enforcement officials and government sometimes need access to your private information. In liberal democracies (and even beyond) they must should exercise this power with some degree of oversight and accountability, to prevent the obvious potential for abuse. My question for this thread is how much oversight? What information should be stored? How is our privacy served in the digital world?

I thought I'd link to an article to get the juices flowing:

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded and Accessible to the US Government?

edited 4th May '13 10:28:58 AM by Achaemenid

Sie gönnen mir nicht Schleisien und die Grafschatz Glatz,

Und die hundert Millionen in meinem Schatz!
 2 Sgt Ricko, Mon, 6th May '13 1:35:17 AM from Guam, USA Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
Funny thing about this whole surveillance issue is that it might've come to exist not due to some sort of "Evil government out to control everything" conspiracy or crap like that, but rather the increasingly difficult legal battles the prosecution has to face in court when pressing charges against a suspect.

Think about it. These days evidence like eyewitness accounts, statements, and even confessions/admissions aren't given very much weight in court. While they might help act as supporting evidence, more often than not a good defense attorney will able to get all of those types thrown out of court due to having the possibility of "human error/bias" involved. Rather, it's evidence such as video surveillance, DNA samples, forensic scene examinations, or computer usage and websites visited that act as the key pillars during a legal battle, mainly because they're hard to fake or claim as incorrect. And if the legal standard as to what is considered effective evidence continues to have more demanding requirements, then chances are it will be deemed necessary to increase the methods used for electronic surveillance.
Would you believe I never fully watched the original Indiana Jones trilogy? I gotta correct that someday.
 3 Barkey, Mon, 6th May '13 2:21:36 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
And the increasing standards for evidence are usually because of all the "Well we want to make absolutely sure we never get the wrong guy!" chucklefucks, who usually tend to be of the bleeding heart persuasion..

Though to be fair, eyewitness testimony, while very useful in pointing the investigation in a direction, is not terribly reliable unless the witness already knows the person they are talking about and it isn't some random guy. It's often quite unreliable.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 4 Achaemenid, Mon, 6th May '13 2:36:48 AM from Mitakihara Town, Copenhagen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
[up], [up][up]

That's certainly a good point. But are you really happy with warrantless wiretapping and having your electronic communications stored and recorded (if indeed the article is correct)?
Sie gönnen mir nicht Schleisien und die Grafschatz Glatz,

Und die hundert Millionen in meinem Schatz!
 5 Barkey, Mon, 6th May '13 2:41:31 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I'm not, mostly because I have faith in a good investigative team with a judge who will issue warrants for that freely.

I've got no problem with wiretapping for cause. If a team is in an investigation and wants one, I don't think surreptitious wiretapping/gps tracking warrants should be hard to get. But I think it has to be for cause.

In other words, no outright monitoring, surveillance, or logged communications or transactions without a warrant. And those warrants can only exist for actual ongoing investigations and not just "For the hell of it, because they might do something someday."

Hell, I think I'd be ok with it without a warrant, but once again, it has to be justified as being part of an actual investigation, and not just storing everyones shit in case they get suspected of a crime down the road.

edited 6th May '13 2:42:46 AM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
When the government allows me access to all of their files and information about their people (excluding obvious things like police informants, ongoing investigations, and private information such as medical records), I'll be OK with them accessing my stuff. If they've done nothing wrong, they've nothing to hide.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
What's funny about that is the Freedom of Information Act. For all its ups and downs, it's a fairly substantial law. If I get your driver license or your license plate, I can legally find out quite a bit about you. Roughly the same can be done with IP addresses and police reports you may have in your record. The general idea behind this is to give citizens the ability to protect themselves from, say, hit-and-run drivers or registered sex offenders. That information can be abused like anything else.

edited 22nd May '13 7:41:54 AM by Aprilla

 8 Ramidel, Mon, 6th May '13 8:39:01 AM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
That's kinda what worries me.

Do we really want the government to have information available where some anon can file a FOIA petition, get your life history and porn searches, and post them across the internet in some random vigilante cause?

 9 Fighteer, Mon, 6th May '13 9:17:21 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Frankly, I'm not sure we're going to be able to turn back the clock on the information that's collected about you. It's out there; the most rational objective would be to give you ownership of it, so that you can (a) always review it for completeness, accuracy, etc.; (b) know who's accessing it; (c) determine who gets to use it. The government would have an override but only with a court order, probable cause, or legitimate national security interest.

As for how FOIA relates to data on things like sex offenders, gun registries, and the like... I don't know. Seems that you'll never be able to get away from that issue entirely. Does the community's right to know who might endanger it trump the individual's right to privacy?

edited 6th May '13 9:21:59 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 10 optimusjamie, Mon, 6th May '13 9:21:36 AM from Mega-City One Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
[up]Whilst I agree in principle, 'national security' and 'probable cause' can be open to interpretation.
 11 Ramidel, Mon, 6th May '13 9:30:10 AM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
@Fighteer: While I agree to giving people access to said data, it's still an imperfect tool for keeping it from being disseminated. Said ownership is only as strong as the mechanisms of ownership. And I predict that when people get ownership of their data, at least some of the data harvesting and distribution will move to uncontrollable black-market mechanisms.

@everyone: On the subject, a Public Service Announcement: If you do not use Facebook and do not want to be tracked by them, get Block Site, get No Script, and block the hell out of the site. They stick their tracking buttons everywhere, and they track everyone.

edited 6th May '13 9:30:38 AM by Ramidel

 12 Fighteer, Mon, 6th May '13 9:36:40 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
@optimusjamie: All you're doing is describing the status quo. You won't ever remove government privilege entirely; all you can do is elect leaders that you hope will behave responsibly.

@Ramidel: I've proposed this on other occasions — what I have in mind is a national data warehouse that is the single repository of all of your personal information. All electronic commerce would be required to go through this warehouse. Information would be "checked out" on a transactional basis, meaning that you get, with the customer's authorization, a token that lets you obtain information for purposes of processing a transaction only. There are ways this could be made sufficiently secure to prevent most forms of abuse.

As to whether a black market would exist, of course it would. It already does. But said market would be unable to access conventional financial transactions; we could lock it out of the system, so to speak — limit it to cash or cash equivalents only.

I've been thinking about this extensively and could provide much more detail if you want to hear it.

Oh, and as for Facebook, Google, and web tracking — just accept it. A fetish for script and ad blocking is just a stopgap. There's no value gained for the effort involved. Better to work for a political solution to give you control over your data.

edited 6th May '13 9:38:41 AM by Fighteer

Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 13 Ramidel, Mon, 6th May '13 9:39:34 AM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
@Fighteer: Please go ahead. Your policy suggestions are always well-thought-out, even if I don't always agree with them.

 14 Fighteer, Mon, 6th May '13 9:46:46 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Give me some time. Maybe I'll write it up as a blog post rather than on the forum, so I can preserve it.
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 15 joeyjojo, Mon, 6th May '13 3:06:04 PM from Opp North Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Funny thing about this whole surveillance issue is that it might've come to exist not due to some sort of "Evil government out to control everything" conspiracy or crap like that, but rather the increasingly difficult legal battles the prosecution has to face in court when pressing charges against a suspect.

'We have to spy on you so we can make it easier to convict you' is pretty much my definition of evil government out to control everything.
Unity in diversity
 16 Ringsea, Mon, 20th May '13 8:50:38 AM from Fly-Over Country,USA Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
The Face of Mercy
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/govt-obtains-wide-ap-phone-records-probe

National Security or our Human Rights?

The point of National security is, or ought, to be protecting our rights..
The most edgy person on the Internet.
 17 demarquis, Wed, 22nd May '13 7:33:32 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Unfortunately, one's right to public safety and security often conflicts with one's right to privacy and freedom from outside interference.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 18 Meklar, Mon, 27th May '13 11:30:27 AM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
 20 Meklar, Tue, 28th May '13 11:13:44 AM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
[up] That sounds cyberpunk as all hell. I approve.

 21 Xopher 001, Tue, 28th May '13 11:25:12 AM from 38.5061° N, 76.5177° W Relationship Status: In season
Avatar drawn By Daft Punch
Well they're not called the MAFIAA for no reason. Seriously was that intentional?
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
 22 Pykrete, Tue, 28th May '13 1:05:50 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
...It's not their actual name. It's just a pejorative.

 23 De Marquis, Tue, 28th May '13 1:42:16 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
That's right. And the police need to be able to change your locks and confiscate all your property anytime you are accused of stealing anything.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 24 Radical Taoist, Tue, 28th May '13 5:54:58 PM from the #GUniverse
 25 Meklar, Tue, 28th May '13 9:49:03 PM from Milky Way Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Well they're not called the MAFIAA for no reason. Seriously was that intentional?
Yes. It stands for 'Music And Film Industry Associations of America'. I claim no credit for inventing the acronym; it's been showing up on Slashdot and elsewhere for a while now.

Total posts: 3,062
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