Saturday, January 21, 2006

Nose Under the Tent

How do you like your private, personal information served up? Would that be fried or poached? Boiled or scrambled?

Whichever way, the US Department of Justice is determined to have it. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has demanded information on all search engine requests between June 1 and July 31, 2005. That’s in “ALL” - two months worth for the entire nation. That must be, let’s see - dozens at least? Actually it’s in the gazillions. Google refused citing concerns for user privacy. Now Gonzales is suing Google in Federal Court in California for one week's worth of the information.

By God, that oughta show those %#@*%& privacy extremists won’t it?

Gonzales says privacy concerns are ‘illusory’ and the US government doesn’t want ‘any additional information that would identify the person who entered the search’. The US government claims to doing a ‘research experiment’ to determine how much child pornography is available on the internet - nothing else. Right. Yeah, you can trust those boys all right, for surely there’s nothing doctrinal about them is there?

Yahoo and AOL have already rolled over and provided the requested information, and Microsoft is said to have done so. Only Google has refused (love those folks!) and is now being sued over the issue. Google, as do most search engines, retains information about what is searched for and which computers are used to visit its web site by setting up ‘cookies’ to store information about visitors.

To put this in perspective, the communist government recently demanded exactly the same thing in China. The information was provided by the search engines - including Google in China - and subsequently used to crackdown on and jail dissidents.

Couldn’t happen in the US though - after all, we’re a ‘democracy’ and don’t use dogma or polemics to distinguish who is ‘dissident’ now do we? Right - except perhaps for during the Civil War, we’ve never seen more ‘dissidents’ in the US than now under this administration.

In fact, because of this kind of assault on personal freedoms, I’m afraid I ARE ONE MYSELF and I can hardly spell the word!

NPR story

Overseas story

2 comments:

  1. This is getting scarier and scarier. I keep thinking this surreal nightmare that I'm living in, the behind the scenes of my government is going to get better, but I have serious doubts.

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  2. Yes Diana- it is getting scarier and scarier. To me the scariest part is that to the majority of the people in the country it doesn't seem to matter too much. Little by little, and sometimes by not-so-little, our liberties are getting whittled away, by a regressive and repressive administration to whom corporate statism is hugely favored over people and civil liberties.

    Unless enough people wake up to - and start screaming louder - about the loss of our freedoms and privacy we will eventually become total economic slaves. In fact, we are very near that now. Your duty to your fellow man if you love your freedom, is to make sure everyone you know at least knows about your fears.

    Anyone who objects to anything this administration does gets quickly painted as some sort of 'extremist', 'radical' or 'terrorist' which are their favorite buzz words today. And in fact, to them everyone who isn't a far right regressive conservative IS an extremist by definition!

    You routinely hear people described as 'eco-terrorists', 'extreme liberals, 'radical socialists' (their words for those who used to be considered moderate), and often even as 'traitors' for daring to question GWB et al on anything at all. He certainly does seem to have a largely mesmerizd constituency, blinded by fear.

    Common Fascist tactics are to cynically use fear and to label opponents with discrediting names - truth having no bearing - sort of like corporate advertising and propaganda. Fascism and corporate statism are identical twins after all.

    ReplyDelete

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