Thoughts on the day

I read quite a bit around the internet, but especially on Slashdot. I’ve always found many posts insightful or just funny so I figured I would share with everyone else some of my thoughts or someone else’s thoughts on various subjects posted around the net. I guess you could call this a quote roundup.

Today on Slashdot I was browsing through the comments relating to, “Security Threat In the New Wiretapping Law“. The article gives the inference that because governments are sloppily implementing secret monitoring of internet and phone traffic, people are going to be able to exploit these monitoring systems and wage denial of service (DoS) attacks against the very system that was implemented to “protect” the people.

Besides the sheer irony of a system being put in place to protect but then is used to cause chaos, there are some real implications of privacy invasion. Privacy is one of the very basic needs of each person that is not discussed in polite company very often. Many would welcome the monitoring in order to guarantee safety, however this methodology is severely flawed. By welcoming extra intrusion into your life, such as allowing lawmakers to go unchecked with warrantless wiretapping, you are inviting another human to make judgment on your actions without them seeing anything but data. Just think, if your friend was addicted to an illegal substance and you felt that you wanted to understand more about the substance what better place to find information than the internet? Your query goes shooting over the tubes, perhaps through AT&T systems, where a NSA sniffer (that is tech speak for NSA program that records every single thing that goes over that connection, including web address, who you are, what you typed in) records the information for future data mining. This information is interesting to the government, perhaps it is red flagged as potentially dangerous, because one of the sites you hit also contained information about bomb making. Narcotics and bomb making could potentially put you in a sticky situation later on. What if searching put you on a “watch list”? What if your future employers used a system of background checks that flagged you as bad due to this watch list? All because you were concerned for a friend. This may sound extreme however it already happens with airline do-not-fly lists. You cannot find out how you got on the list; you cannot find out if you are on the list. Oh but you’ll find out as soon as they come after you.

Enough of my paranoid rambling. This is a serious thought. People do stupid things, everyone does, however if we are not able to have a second chance, a time for forgiveness, a time when your past actions are disregarded for your present actions, then everyone is guilty of doing something wrong immediately. What if the government fined you for every time you went over the speed limit? What if the government fined you for every time you listened to some music that was illegally acquired? This may be acceptable to some but consider that instead of a fine, they incarcerate you without notification of your family. Without the ability to call a lawyer. Sounds more like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq than America, however our government is already doing this in Guantanamo Bay. We are slowly edging towards an unforgiving society where no one is allowed a mistake. My fellow people, if you have never made a mistake in your life than this is perfectly suited for you. However, I would indulge that you are not any more perfect than I am and sometimes your actions are only understood by yourself.

America is a place where the rules apply to everyone. This makes things fair. When the government starts casting nets for information, they will catch the information they are seeking. Will it be in proper context? Probably not. Further, does this net apply to everyone? Again, probably not. So the real question that remains, is who is really breaking the law? I leave you all with this post from rtb61:

If they have nothing to hide, why is it secret wire tapping and secret warrants.

If they have nothing to hide, why isn’t every communication between lobbyists and politicians recorded and publicly declared.

If they have nothing to hide, why is not the activity of every law enforcement officer recorded whilst they are on duty, rather than a taser to torture why not a video camera to record.

If they have nothing to hide, why secret no fly lists.

Let’s all of us give up our secrets and privacy at the same time or maybe lets start with the people who are in such a hurry to take our privacy whilst keeping their own dirty secrets, which will be the most interesting, our little white lies, or the massive whoppers of the corrupt corporate executives, the typical lying politician, the abusive power freak law enforcement officer, and of course the biggest liars of all lobbyists.