So I bet everyone here remembers the battle-cry against Bush over the Patriot Act, right? The big debate over warrantless wiretaps on people who were contacting terrorists overseas and all that? We all remember how the media whipped up a major firestorm over it, don't we? They still occasionally make some statement about it even to this day. In almost every instance of it, they are quick to tie it to Bush as though he was the evil big bad boogie man. As it turns out, the NSA's terror surveillance program was mild compared to what's actually being proposed with a straight face these days.

In California ( and 8 other states ) they can now attach a GPS unit to your car, without your consent, and begin tracking you everywhere you go, including your own driveway. This stemmed from a DEA case against an Oregon resident whom the government had done exactly this to. They snuck onto his property, put a device under his jeep, and then proceeded to track him. All on the suspicion that he was trafficking marijuana. The victim of this intrusion naturally got a lawyer and sued the DEA over it. Nothing unexpected there, except the 9th Circuit Court here in lib-land ruled that nobody has a reasonable expectation of privacy at any moment in their vehicles, including when parked in their own driveways! To top things off, the government does not require a warrant to do this. Nope. Just show up one day and slap the GPS on your car and you're done.

Not enough to worry you yet? How about tracking you via your cell phone? Yes, after a federal appeals court ruling in Philadelphia, the government no longer needs to obtain warrants to track your whereabouts using your own cell phone. No need to go to a judge or have any sort of oversight at all. The Obama administration had the audacity to argue in court that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to your whereabouts.

If that's not enough to scare you, then perhaps the knowledge that the Obama administration is now seeking legislation that would allow the Feds to have a back door into all forms of encryption for internet communication. Covering email, IM, VOIP, and any other methods of secure communication you use over the internet. In addition to the severe dismantling of your rights this causes, it also leaves a wide open vector for all manner of security risks as well. The mere existence of any back doors will mean someone out there can exploit them. I certainly don't need the government peeking over my shoulder at every little thing and at the same time exposing my PC to untold risk from hackers. Online banking anyone? Yeah, they'd be able to tap that too because SSL is an encryption protocol for internet communication.

As you might imagine, none of this has even been so much as mentioned by the liberal press. Sure, you can find any number of articles about it all via the internet. Mostly on blogs. Our media in the US has become so utterly devoid of neutrality that they're willing to go along with all of this despite just two years ago raising hell over a far more limited program that still had judicial oversight. The irony here is that reporters are just as likely as anyone to be snared in this sort of thing.

George Orwell warned us all this was coming. He just got the year wrong. It's happening now, all around us, not back in 1984.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Sep 28, 2010 9:12 pm by Samson in: | 24 comment(s) [Closed]
Nothing new here Samson, you guys in the US have faced ever decreasing rights of privacy for decades. Ragan did it, Bush did it, Clinton did it, Bush did it and i have no doubt that Obama will do it also, with each successive wave further diminishing your rights to do what you want without big brother always looking over your shoulder to make sure you wipe your butt with the correct side of the toilet paper.

Obama represented change and gave people hope that it might just be possible, now they are just all disalusioned and becomming bitter as he delivers more of the same, because lets face it, Obama or the President in general has no real power, they just have to bend over and suck it up from all the special interest groups who dictate policy. The real power is with the lobby groups, and those who have the money to buy the time of their elected members.

Because if there was any real power with the people, we would not have spent a trillion dollars bailing out the retards who because of greed, made the economy the mess it is today.

Edited by The_Fury on Sep 28, 2010 9:56 pm
You know, even back in 1984 we all knew Orwell was right about it except for the year, the technology just wasn't quite ready in time is all. :(

Fury, don't get too hyped on the whole "you guys in the US" because, as you well know, governments in this world like nothing better than to follow each other's examples, especially among the governments of English speaking nations. Australia's not going to be any safer than the US is for long, if it even is still.

Well, Australia's current government sucks up to the unions and greens rather than big business at the moment (generally anyway), and those groups aren't interested in invading your privacy. They've got other issues...

...which means; Good news Everyone! The economy is going to go to hell, but at least we'll have our privacy!

Yes, that sounds about like our unions here too. The government sucks up to them here too, but the unions in general aren't interested in snooping on you. They don't object to the government doing so mind you, but they're not out there advocating for it either.

BTW, welcome aboard :)

@Fury: Before you get all excited about how bad the US is and how great AU is, keep in mind you guys are probably at least as bad off, if not worse. If you don't realize this you probably have much better propaganda services than we do.

@Fury: Before you get all excited about how bad the US is and how great AU is, keep in mind you guys are probably at least as bad off, if not worse. If you don't realize this you probably have much better propaganda services than we do./

Well, Labour had some of the best propaganda around going at the election we had a month ago. Actually, it's probably better described smear, but either way, the fact that they happily waste millions of tax dollars from a budget they've already put in hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on ads full of lies that go well beyond the norm of political advertising bullshit is, well, some pretty good propaganda services. :evil:

'Australia is at least as bad off, if not worse'. I don't agree with this though. We did avoid recession, and we rate 2nd on the Human Development Index, and I don't think it was Labour's great propaganda that taught me this though (it does try to teach me that they alone are responsible for getting the country to avoid recession, when in fact they were only in a position to do so because the Liberals left the economy in such good shape).

Just because you weren't hit as hard by the recession doesn't make every thing else all rosy, but, as Samson said, welcome aboard, it's always nice seeing new "faces" here, especially when they even register. :)

Thanks, its always nice to be welcomed :smile:

Oh i was not banning on about great AU is compared to US on this issue, i do not think we are much better off as it stands when compared to you guys, its just we have it in different areas. To tired to make much discourse on this and what Prettyfly added, time to shower, eat and sleep, peace out all.

Dallen [Anon] said:
Comment #9 Sep 29, 2010 9:24 am
Samson said:

In California ( and 8 other states ) they can now attach a GPS unit to your car, without your consent, and begin tracking you everywhere you go, including your own driveway

Uh, All modern cell phones have GPS chips (even if the functionality is not available to the user); and yes, it can be traced when the phone is switched off. Removing the battery is the only way to deactivate it (letting it die works to).

Dallen, Samson covered that in the next paragraph. I don't think the point was that your vehicle or cell phone could have GPS installed, but that our government has now gotten the backing of the courts to use GPS on your vehicle or cell phone without a warrant or your knowledge to track your location in real time and that they are trying to take it even further by getting permission to basically monitor all computer activity through the web world-wide. So, essentially, we're really very close to the Orwellian world that even our parents feared.

Finger Print Gamblers

Hey atleast your guys are only wanting to track those they suspect of crime, check out this article, it would seem here in AU we want to fingerprint anyone who gambles. :)

The problem is, Fury, the ones deciding who might be suspected of crime may suspect everyone in the nation. :headbang:

As far as fingerprinting, we already have fingerprints taken by the public schools for every school age child in the nation and those fingerprints are submitted to the FBI database as well as being used, in some school systems to track students using biometric systems as they ride the school bus, or as they buy their school lunch, or even in the name of teaching 7th and 8th graders about forensic science (despite the fact that the subject isn't in the school's curriculum) after the teacher's purse was stolen. We should be worried about the notion of using fingerprints to monitor gamblers?? :facepalm:

[Edit] Keep in mind, those are just the first few examples I happened to find links for. Our schools have been fingerprinting students for the FBI database since I was in elementary school that I personally know of, it may very well have been for even longer now.

Edited by Conner on Sep 29, 2010 4:38 pm
Fury: If we're worse off than you, I have one question: Is your healthcare system mandatory right now?

@Samson, yes and no. We have 2 options, you can choose to not have private health insurance, in which case, if you earn over 45k (not sure on the exact figure) you will be charged the Medicare Levy Surcharge at tax time, or you can have private insurance and not have to pay the surchare. Anyone below the threshold gets free medical via the public health system, which might mean a wait of a couple of years for certain non critical surgical procedures.

I guess ultimatly it is mandatory if you are over the threshold, you can choose to pay for private insurane, or pay for use of the public facilities, either way you are going to be paying. Pretty much it means anyone who earns over the threshold is much better off to have private insurance as it will also cover you for things not covered by the public system, like dental, remidial procedures and elective procedures.

@Conner, Hmmm i do not know if i would want to be fingerprinted for the database, thats just an insane incursion on my right to privacy. All because someone might commit a crime somewhere, sometime, its just very unlikely to be me.

Edited by The_Fury on Sep 29, 2010 5:51 pm
Sure sounds like it's mandatory whether you're over the threshold or not to me, it's just that if you're under that threshold you get it for free, but you still don't have a choice about it.

Ah, but that's the beauty of the way they do it. They start taking fingerprints from the kids in elementary school when they don't know to object and they don't bother getting parental permission so the parents only know about it if they're on top of their kids about what they do each day at school. By the time anyone's old enough to be concerned about privacy issues it's years too late to do anything about it. Now some of the instances like the links I gave, people are upset about but even in those cases it's justified by arguing that it's for the safety of the children which totally appeases all those liberals just like they love to do in most places to push bills that under any real scrutiny would never pass, it's the standard rally cry of "oh how the poor children need our help and protection!" :(

Samson said:

i do not know if i would want to be fingerprinted for the database.

That's just it, Samson. It's mandatory. They "say" that it's a children's safety issue. The idea (supposedly) is someone might kidnap your kid, and "we" need to be able to trace said kid.

That wasn't me who said that. However, I can tell you that in our district here, the fingerprinting program isn't mandatory. Most parents still go along with it, but they don't have to. Sadly, they know not what they do.

The problem is that it's rarely ever presented to the parents (if at all) as an opt-out option but rather as an advisory that the class will be doing this. It's usually left up to the parents to come forward before it happens and object at which point it's made clear that this was an optional exercise.

Yep, and since it's an "advisory", 99.99999(and 9's forever) % of parents don't realize that it's voluntary; so no-one "ever" objects. It's just part of assembly. When mine was done, I had no prior notice it was just a weekly assembly, with a "special law enforcement speaker".

Well, I suppose the seedy thing is that they are not making it clear to people that its is a voluntary thing. They'll make it clear for immunizations (something that is far more likely to save lives), but not for gathering a means to identify you that can be used for the rest of your life.

Oh, they send the parents a card after the fact that has to be signed to opt out of adding it to the database. Obviously, no many pay attention to the card.

I guess it all depends on which county you live in then because here in Chino, they send fliers home with the students informing the parents that there's going to be a fingerprinting drive and asking if they'd like to participate. Yes, it's billed as "do it for the children" and not "Big Brother wants you to do it" but the fact remains they don't just blindside you with it after the fact, at least around here.

PetrusOctavianus [Anon] said:
Comment #23 Sep 30, 2010 1:53 pm
The forces that hate freedom won a major victorty on 911. After that the governments and most of the population of the western world has sacrificed freedom for safety and security, and there doesn't seem to be an end to how much surveillance people will accept as long as it's being done incrementally (sp?) and in the name of "safety".

Don't get me started on voluntary immunizations, prettyfly.. there are several states where refusal to let the doctor give your child immunizations can result in charges of child abuse. Most of these states do offer the option to seek an injunction as remedy, but most parents are very unaware that they might well have to get a lawyer and go fight it out in court in order to avoid having their doctor give their child chicken pox, measles, polio, diphtheria, or ...

Yes, Samson, it's reasonably likely that there are some counties here and there in this country still left that realize a parent should have the right to decide ahead of time and actually send home notices ahead of time asking for permission, but it's not the majority of them.

Unfortunately, Petrus, that wasn't the first time we've made that sacrifice nor will it be the last. That was just the most publicized.

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