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“Government data mining matters”

A couple of opinion pieces. First, from Legal Insurrection:

…I’m also concerned with what could be done with the information gathered about American citizens not suspected of a crime if put into the hands of politicians and political groups, and bureaucrats who work for or are sympathetic to such politicians and political groups.

The threat, oddly enough, is proven by the [present] leaks…If some government employee who has sworn to keep information secret is willing to leak [it]…for (allegedly) good purposes, what’s to stop that person from violating his or her oath by leaking data-mined information…for other than good reasons…?

…The issue goes beyond the NSA programs. Obamacare is a form of data mining. Obamacare will put into the hands of the IRS medical and health information of an unprecedented level.

And from Reason:

…everything and everyone are relevant to everything, because anything could yield some clue that could conceivably solve some crime. But that view is the same one that justified those general warrants from King George III.

The problem with indiscriminate [surveillance] of homes and effects is not that it’s ineffective in finding wrongdoing. It’s that the innocent people should not be punished in the pursuit of the guilty….

The danger isn’t (just) in what’s being done with the surveillance databases now; it’s in the fact that they exist, i.e., what could be done with them – and will be, sooner or later. Especially under an administration as power-hungry, deceptive and corrupt as Obama’s.

In the Bush 43 days, I believed that the government was only after real terrorists. But because of Obama’s IRS/Tea Party scandal specifically, I now know otherwise. That scandal has proven that the government’s motives are not pure.

And thus the NSA revelations, while they may be a non-scandal by themselves, they do carry the whiff of all of Obama’s other scandals. Because all of them fit together in a disturbing pattern. I am not against responsible counter-terrorism; I am against Obama’s pattern.

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3 Comments

  1. A criminal profile can be constructed from the conjecture of an algorithm. No fingerprints required, no DNA samples, no other physical evidence — all is implied, all is circumstantial merely due to electronic patterns that may or may not have any bearing upon what an aggressive prosecutor, IRS agent/Obamacare administrator may wish to assert. Guilt and ‘enemy’ are a combination of any number of ones and zeroes and it is the data generated via ‘private’ interaction through corporate/government relationships most to be feared. Welcome to the oligarchy. Welcome to fascism.

    Risk management tells me that a terrorist attack is preferable to Big Brother. And I don’t think the Obama administration is being viewed favorably, despite that this is a distraction from other, related cases of corruption. How much of this is initial shock to be assimilated over time is anyone’s guess.

    Comment by Ignatius — June 10, 2013 @ 12:46 pm - June 10, 2013

  2. “Risk management tells me that a terrorist attack is preferable to Big Brother.

    The greater danger is not the outside element. They have to work hard, and get lucky, to succeed and pull off any kind of real attack.

    Everything has to go just right.

    The corruption and abuse of power from within only takes a few individuals to either not recognize the corruption, or worse, for then to allow the corruption “for the common good”.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — June 10, 2013 @ 4:41 pm - June 10, 2013

  3. The corruption and abuse of power from within only takes a few individuals to either not recognize the corruption, or worse, for then to allow the corruption “for the common good”

    Which is why, when I hear or see anything about airport security measures which result in the inevitable comment “…if that’s what it takes to make us safe…”, I want to reach through the TV or computer screen or radio speakers and strangle the lemmings who say such things. That type of mentality is not needed in today’s world.

    Comment by RSG — June 10, 2013 @ 9:57 pm - June 10, 2013

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