shocking ≠ surprising
I remember reading this somewhere…
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Probably some quaint, historical novel I picked up at a used book store somewhere…
[By Julia Angwin | The Wall Street Journal]
The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.
Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited.
The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.
Like the “crime” of voice-texting while driving?
Hey. A “crime” is a crime.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution says that searches of “persons, houses, papers and effects” shouldn’t be conducted without “probable cause” that a crime has been committed. But that doesn’t cover records the government creates in the normal course of business with citizens.
The hell you say?
… the Federal Privacy Act in 1974. The act prohibits government agencies from sharing data with each other for purposes that aren’t “compatible” with the reason the data were originally collected.
…But the Federal Privacy Act allows agencies to exempt themselves from many requirements by placing notices in the Federal Register…
Since my primary function of existence [in the eyes of govt, at least] is to be a Federal Tax-Paying Unit, maybe I ought buy one of those ads and exempt myself…
At least against Johnny Jihaddi I have a chance; I might not be in that city on that day, Acccchmed’s underwear might misfire, my fellow passengers might join me in pounding him into goo… Now all I can rely on is typical govt efficiency.
Late last year, for instance, NCTC obtained an entire database from Homeland Security for analysis, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Homeland Security provided the disks on the condition that NCTC would remove all innocent U.S. person data after 30 days.
After 30 days, a Homeland Security team visited and found that the data hadn’t yet been removed. In fact, NCTC hadn’t even finished uploading the files to its own computers, that person said. It can take weeks simply to upload and organize the mammoth data sets.
Homeland Security granted a 30-day extension. That deadline was missed, too. …
That’s comforting. BigSis took the data back…
First guy to say “I haven’t done anything wrong – I don’t haft worry!” gets a smack with the hundreds of thousands of pages of “Laws” Congress and the Shadow govt of the Regulatory Agencies have passed in the last decades. It is estimated that the average citizen going about his daily business commits three felonies a day*.
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
– Dr. Theodore Dalrymple