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View Diary: It's time we stopped mincing words... (Updated) (269 comments)

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  •  i try to achieve excellence in everything i do (0+ / 0-)

    federal prisoners tend to be executed after trials in article III courts, and drones are the least bad of several bad options in my view.  Of course saying something isn't a slippery slope isn't sufficient, but here there are reasons why that's the case -- it's a combination of the diminishing marginal intrusion and the effect of statutory authorization, congressional oversight, and the 4th amendment protecting what it in fact protects (not metadata).  A bright line rule can beat a balancing test, but if drawn in the wrong place gives clumsy results.  If you want to generalize about overall trends, that's fine, but it doesn't yield concrete action items and doesn't tell much in the way of specific reforms, as are probably needed.  But to say there's a straight line from government can collect publicly available information to the government can kill you on a whim overlooks quite a lot.  Obviously any government information gathering is going to draw objections of exactly that type, but done right, there could be less arbitrariness, bias, and path dependence in data analysis than in conventional police work, and I sense a lot of objections are less about privacy as an end in itself than as a protection against arbitrary law enforcement or retaliations for the wrong reasons.  I think there could also be a lot of good done if the government invested in various google ad word buys - huge potential public health benefits in tracking disease progressions and the ability to get specific information in the hands of people where it would do the most good.  Most recently, I used that same type of data to help people vote (but of course I only had an educated guess how they would -- the actual privacy of the booth was and must be sacrosanct.)  Acting like it's all or nothing misses an opportunity to develop clear, refined rules and controls.  So, basically, yeah, I see the issues associated with these programs less as pawns in an epic battle between liberty and security where there can only be one winner, than as presenting specific risks, challenges, and opportunities, and as discrete problems to be solved -- marginal risks to privacy values versus marginal benefits.  The same is true of the 5th amendment issues with terrorists not otherwise capturable.  Otherwise, how is the criticism constructive to anyone making decisions?  

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:52:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Of course there aren't "concrete action items" (2+ / 0-)
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      CenPhx, Words In Action

      We've got a bunch of asses going around saying nothing is wrong and throwing up word salads like this. You have literally said nothing more here. You could have simply said "I just want to talk about specifics and their effectiveness." Or you could actually talk about the specifics. I mean, instead of going on and on about how we need to have a conversation and such maybe, and I know this is crazy but bear with me, maybe all these people saying we need a conversation about this should start a fucking conversation and talk about what they think might be done.

      and please, paragraph breaks.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll take the note about paragraph breaks, (0+ / 0-)

        But "nothing's wrong everything's fine" is too glib, and "I just want to talk about specifics" is also not right either - not to the extent it implies indifference to other implications (or agreement with your take on them).  While my thoughts are admittedly tentative he I can't get too much into specs, the "word salad" was my attempt to "have that fucking conversation."

         I'm also pretty sure I didn't say anything that would suggest personal attack, quite the opposite. If we're telling people what their arguments should have been by their own lights, "the slippery slope risk is still there, because if you can justify this on security grounds you can justify anything" would be quite sufficient. In fact, feel free to use it with the next "ass" you run into.  

         It's not at all clear from that what you want or expect to happen if, as surely will be the case, it's not overturned by Congress or unilaterally abandoned.  I think one possibility is to develop stricter oversight and again reaffirm what other checks are there, and another might be to work towards a theory of how "big data" can or should be used in contexts other than anti-terror stuff.  I had some tentative thoughts on each, but of course, you engaged me, as I responded to a specific point about gun background checks.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:29:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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