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View Diary: 4 paragraphs from Eugene Robinson (126 comments)

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  •  The rub (for some): larger means leakier (6+ / 0-)

    There have been a flurry of posts of late that ponder the rapid expanse of the MISC (military industrial surveillance complex) and one main characteristic of the thing: incompetence.

    The leaks (countered with a liberal use of the Espionage Act) look to be an unintended consequence of total information awareness. The thing about technology – there are no secrets anymore. This is evermore true when you introduce the human condition into a system that seeks limitless expansion to do what our government was barred from implementing under TIA.

    Secret societies, secret courts, secret decisions and secret interpretations are anachronistic in our modern world. Information travels in many directions at once.

    I will say it again: There are no secrets anymore. We should certainly be able to handle that.

    •  going to disagree somewhat (13+ / 0-)

      what I do not put online, what I say only in face to face conversations, what I write in my journals in small notebooks I carry with me, what I think but do not share -  these are still private, and thus excluded from government knowledge.

      We as a society have chosen to share things because we believe we obtain benefit -  thus my supermarket knows something about my consumption patterns because I use their discount card.  I willing share THAT with them, but do not given them the implicit permission to share that information tied to me with other corporations or with the government.  That the information exists is one thing.  But it is shared for a specific purpose.  Thus I think the Supreme Court needs to rethink its notions of what is private and thus requires a warrant to obtain to cover transactions like this.

      I think this is a debate that we should be having, rather than merely allowing changing technology to supercede the original intent of limiting government access to its knowledge about us and our activities.  After all, if we can interpret the elastic clause to allow the government to regulate things that had not yet been invented, then clearly the Founders knew and expected there would be changes they could not anticipate, but which were to be included in the Constitutional framework, including the Bill of Rights.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:35:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should have qualified that remark. (11+ / 0-)

        Yes, there is information that remains private, as you say, in your notebooks and spoken face-to-face. I too keep information about myself. Passwords, for example, I do not trust to an automated electronic tool that is at my disposal on my Mac.

        To qualify my remarks - we are at an age when the abundance of information that is gathered about individuals travels at near-light speed through redundant networks. The opportunities for leaks outside the realm of people like Snowden are numerous.

        Vast volumes of data that travel at high speed through these frameworks cannot be kept in hermetically sealed pathways. Such a system does not exist and the likelihood of its existence in the future is dim. After all - these are human inventions.

        So I would say to the close of your second paragraph that the SCOTUS does need to rethink the Katz test. The "reasonable expectation of privacy" should be enjoyed among those who are not suspected of any crime. If one is not a suspect then there is no need to vacuum any and all information on an individual. This test from 1957 among others that subsequently grew out of the technological age will need to be revisited. The technology and its application –and subsequent abuse– have metamorphosed faster than the laws can adapt.

        •  thanks for this thoughtful comment eom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:31:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  What happens (7+ / 0-)
          So I would say to the close of your second paragraph that the SCOTUS does need to rethink the Katz test. The "reasonable expectation of privacy" should be enjoyed among those who are not suspected of any crime. If one is not a suspect then there is no need to vacuum any and all information on an individual.
          when one is a member of groups this society has deemed perpetually suspect even when there is neither evidence of a crime nor any indication of intent to commit one?They, essentially, have had their "reasonable expectation of privacy" lowered to nothing. In our outrage at this high tech gutting of the 4th amendment we should not lose sight of the fact that the longstanding low tech methods have not been laid aside and their continued utilization does far more damage to citizens than NSA data collection has to date.

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:20:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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