Xah Lee's Unixism

John Thingstad john.thingstad at chello.no
Thu Sep 9 23:06:57 CEST 2004


On Thu, 09 Sep 04 13:12:17 GMT, <jmfbahciv at aol.com> wrote:


> I really want to know.  People keep saying this but never say which
> freedoms have been lost.
>

Since this is somewhat related to computer programming and AI I will reply.

The US has started a initiative to integrate all information about people  
in the USA into a central database.

This includes confidential information like your medical files. Think what  
you say to your psychologist is confidential? Think again. Being paranoid  
can be enough to get a "red flag".
They will have access to all your credit records and will monitor all your  
travels in and out of the country.
If you buy flowers on the apposite side of town they can deduce that you  
have a lover and
use this as a means of distortion. (Edgar A. Hoover style)

Initially this was just supposed to be used to monitor terrorist like  
behaviour
but now the FBI and CIA are also seeing the power of such a system.

The main challenge in computing is sieving through the amount of data.
Politically it is to pressure the foreign governments to wave their  
privacy protection acts and allow unlimited access to information to a  
foreign power.

Don't know what you think of this but it scares the hell out of me!

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