Carol Platt Liebau: Your "Privacy" Is Long Gone

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Your "Privacy" Is Long Gone

Funny how the civil libertarians object to mining data that can help protect Americans in the war on terror, but much less is said about much more intrusive government information gathering that isn't even being used for national defense purposes -- like the census.

In any case, those beating the drums of outrage against the NSA program had better realize that there's very little privacy left. Your social security number is used much like a national ID card. And you can see a satellite image of even one of the most secure private residences in the world.

23 Comments:

Blogger Pikes Peak Pundit said...

It's not just collection of census data that invades personal privacy. Don't forget the substantial invasion of privacy issues inherent in the Federal government's collection of taxes. Every year, on Form 1040 and other associated forms and schedules, the Federal government requires us to provide: Full name; address; SSN; phone number; number and names of children; their SSNs; how much (rounded to the nearest dollar) we were paid; how much was withheld; how much we gave to charity; the dates and sales prices of every share of stock bought or sold; etc etc ad infinitum. Similarly, our private employers, bankers and brokers are required to report in intimate detail personal individual financial information on us to the federal government to ensure that what we're providing is correct. All with potentially severe penalties for not complying. All of this, of course, is "necessary" for a presumably greater good, which is ensuring that the government gets the resources it needs to carry out its responsibilities. But make no mistake about it - we give up substantial personal individual privacy as part of this whole process.

Data mining of phone records, if it helps identify terrorist and adversary cells that use our telecommunications infrastructure for their deadly purposes, and helps prevent potentially catastrophic attacks against our people, property, and infrastructure, ought to fall within that same cost/benefit analysis that we already apply to personal privacy versus federal revenue generation efforts.

The campaign by so many to demagogue the government's efforts in this regard is not only unhelpful, but hypocritical.

6:43 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

There maybe privacy of the grave, but one day even that may need to be removed. In a war there is one right, the right of life. Ben Franklin spoke of liberty and rights but in his day there were limits to the wars.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

Check out Jeff Jarvis' take on the matter. The Feds aint even listening in on your conversations. They're listening to aggregated data, and unless what you're talking about sticks out for some reason, they're not about to pay any attention to you. That's gotta disappoint certain parties.

FBI agent (interviewing Shadowrun GM): So what percentage of Secret Service personnel would you say are elves as opposed to orcs?

7:08 PM  
Blogger woof111 said...

I thought the link would take me to a satellite photo of Barbra Streisand's house.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Nice rant, Carol. You are doing a good job trying to change the subject.

Perhaps you could let us know why our phone call records should not be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

8:47 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

But Carol's records WILL be protected.

She donates to the Republican party.

She has never criticized this president.

Therefore she is not a terrorist.

Of course, there have been calls between her number and mine. When she gets to Gitmo, she can explain she was really calling my wife, who is far less political than her drooling Dem of a husband. Maybe after a couple of months they'll let her out!

10:54 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

The funny thing is, the government had all the information it needed to stop 9/11. Of course, the pres had his daily brief explaining that Osama was determined to attack the US. The FBI was trailing the hijackers. And the NSA had recorded their phone calls from the 10th in which they talked about tomorrow being the big day.

All the information they needed. Except that Bush couldn't be bothered with the brief, because there was brush to clear. The FBI had no idea what it was doing. And the NSA, under the sterling leadership of General Hayden, DIDN'T BOTHER TO LISTEN TO THOSE RECORDINGS UNTIL 9/12.

Now please explain how tapping MY phone would help when all that didn't.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

Man, I just gotta say that this here Mr. Wrabkin guy just has to be about the smartest person EVER!

I mean, look at this stuff about Mr. Bush getting briefed that Osama bin Laden wanted to make some attack sometime in the United States. Me – I would have thought “wow, that could be just about anything anywhere at any time”. Seemed kind of vague to me. But Mr. Wrabkin, man, he would have seen RIGHT AWAY that there was going to be exactly the kinds of attacks that occurred on 9/11, just from that little bit of information. I guess that’s cuz his hindsight is way, way, WAY better than everyone else’s foresight, that’s just how freakin’ amazingly smart he is! Man, you just have to take your hat off to that kind of intellekchual firepower.

And that part about the intercepted message on 9/10 saying that “tomorrow” was the big day. Whoa! To me, that would have seemed kinda vague too. Not a whole lot of detail in that message, you know? But Mr. Wrabkin, man, he would have been right on it! I bet he would have been real decisive-like, shuttin’ down airports on 9/11 before anything could happen, searchin’ for Mooslims with box cutters, evacuating the WTC and the Pentagon, alerting the air force to get ready to shoot down airliners, all that kind of stuff. ‘Cause he would KNOW exactly what “tomorrow is the big day” was referrin’ to, and nip the whole thing right there in the bud! That’s what kind of a super smart guy he is, for sure. Makes me really really mad that McHalliburton Cheney and his sock puppet’s foresight wasn’t anywhere NEAR as good as Mr. Wrabkin and his hindsight. No sirree. It would have all been a whole lot diff’rent if Mr. Wrabkin was President, that’s for sure!!

Hey, maybe the reason they’re for sure tapping Mr. Wrabkin’s phone right now (I mean, it HAS to be true, ‘cuz Mr. Wrabkin says so!) is ‘cuz he’ SO gol-darn smart that they want to get a piece of all his smart thinkin’ and stuff and take advantage of it before more bad stuff happens. ‘Cuz he IS the MAN when it comes to figgerin’ that stuff out ahead of time!

Or afterwards as the case may be.

Or whatever. The main thing is - is just how gosh-darn SMART he is! It’s amazin’, that's for sure!!!

4:43 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Funny, the Clinton administration was able to stop the planned terrorist attack at LAX on 12/31/99 from happening. And while they were not able to prevent the first bombing of the World Trade Center, within weeks, they had rounded up the entire conspiracy and put them in jail.

Also funny -- Repubs used to laugh at the "undisciplined" Clinton, because he'd hold meetings that went on for hours until everyone was exhausted. Bush was warned about Al Qaeda, and he refused to cut his vacation short for a second.

And really funny -- Mr. Bullfrog thinks it's impossible to assume that the government might have been able to stop 9/11 if they'd been doing their jobs. And yet, the entire rationale for re-electing Bush was that he could "protect" us from terrorists. So which is it -- is it laughable, or is it not? Or maybe he'll just protect us in those two or three months he's not on vacation.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

Man, that’s right!! Those guys in the first WTC bombing did get caught afterwards!! A real success story if I ever heard one. ‘Course, if I recall c’rrectly, after the first WTC bombing, one of the guys that rented the van that they put the explosives in went back to the rental company and asked for his deposit back, which kinda linked himself directly to the event and pretty much put himself right into the FBI’s hands. Me, I’d always thought that was pretty dumb of him, and pretty lucky for the FBI, but what do I know? Then Mr. Wrabkin comes along and gives us the straight scoop – it was all DIRECTLY the result of those super smart guys like him in the Clinton administration back in Washington having long meetings late at night, was how he got rounded up so quick like. Who’d of figgered that connection, huh? Mr. Wrabkin, that’s who!!

And before, I’d always figgered it was kinda senseless to try to round up and arrest and put into jail the direct perpetrators of the 9/11 hijackings, since they was all dead afterwards on account of them killin’ themselves in the attack along with their victims. But now I know – thanks to Mr. Wrabkin! - the important thing ain’t necessarily stoppin’ an attack, but bein’ able to round up some perpetrators afterwards! Live perpetrators, that is. Dead ones don’t count – they gotta be live! Now that’s some real smart thinkin’ – damm I wish I’d thought of that!

And I keep learnin’ more and more from Mr. Wrabkin, like f’rinstance about the 1999 Millenium attack plot. Me, I’d always figured that the customs agents guys that figgered the nervous guy at the Port Angeles ferry looked kinda suspicious did a real good job checkin’ him out back there in ’99 – a real credit to them, for sure. Or so I use’ta think. You know, regular customs folks doin’ what they’re trained to do, independent of who’s President and such. ‘Course, they were really just suspectin’ the guy to be a drug smuggler, not a terrorist, but it all panned out, so it’s all good. I had NO IDEA those customs guys stoppin’ a guy they thought was smugglin’ drugs was DIRECTLY related to President Clinton having long meetings back in Washington, wearin’ everyone out talkin’ about health care and tax policy and such! But that’s why it’s great to have the super Smart Folks like Mr. Wrabkin around, to make those kinds of connections that us regular folks probably wouldn’t ever figger out!

Damm I’m learnin’ a lot from Mr. Wrabkin! He’s the MAN, for sure!

Mr. Wrabkin for President!!

5:52 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

The US Army knew where Osama was after 9/11. Bush chose not to go after him. Clinton knew where the WTC bombers were. He choose to go after them.

What else do you need to know?

6:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah Bullfrog said...

Damn, Mr. Wrabkin’s right again!!

Goin’ after and findin’ guys in NYC and New Jersey that only gave a few basic clues on where they’re at and how to find ‘em is way, WAY harder than just goin’ to Afghanistan and Pakistan and findin’ a guy hidin’ in caves in just a few thousand square miles of rugged mountains. But Mr. Clinton (or at least, the FBI - probly ought to give them SOME of the credit) pulled it off anyway, against all odds! Guess all those long meetings at the White House really did pay off after all!

Man, why can’t I figger these things out like Mr. Wrabkin can? I guess it’s cuz he’s just so dang freakin’ SMART, that’s why!

Mr. Wrabkin for President AND Secretary of Defense!!

It would be easy for him, I jus’ know it!!!

6:37 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

It wouldn't be easy for me. (Not that that's an issue -- I've never run for office and thank God every day I don't have those responsibilities.) It wouldn't be easy for a competent president, either.

But at least a competent, honest president would try.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

A "competent, honest" President might have accepted the Sudanese offer of OBL on a platter, too, but that's another B.S story, isn't it, wrabkin?

BTW, both "honest Bubba, and Marvelous Madelyn admit to the flub, but what does that matter?

6:56 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

I love the way you insist every reporter who doesn't work for Fox News is a pathological liar... but the Sudanese government -- currently engaged in genocide -- is telling the truth about an episode that has been roundly debunked. By those Commies at the 9/11 commission:

"Former Sudanese officials claim that Sudan offered to expel Bin Ladin to the United States. Clinton administration officials deny ever receiving such an offer. We have not found any reliable evidence to support the Sudanese claim.

Sudan did offer to expel Bin Ladin to Saudi Arabia and asked the Saudis to pardon him. U.S. officials became aware of these secret discussions, certainly by March 1996. The evidence suggests that the Saudi government wanted Bin Ladin expelled from Sudan, but would not agree to pardon him. The Saudis did not want Bin Ladin back in their country at all."

And no, Clinton does not "admit to the flub" -- that's a lie, a deliberate distortion of something Clinton said as deliberately misquoted by those truthseekers at Newsmax, then repeated ad nauseum by Sean Hannity.

I just wonder -- when Clinton did actually try to get Bin Laden, and when he sent the missile strikes that did wipe out whatever WMD capacity Saddam might have had left, were you supporting him? Or were you among those screaming "wag the dog," because your petty political vendetta was then more important than the national security to which you're now desperate to sacrifice all civil liberties?

By the way, one quick definition -- that quote from the 9/11 commission above? It's called a "fact." You might want to use one every now and then -- really helps the ol' argument!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Interesting, indeed,how the recording of Clinton's remarks are now distortions of Fox News and Sean Hannity! You're good! Who writes your "stuff", anyway, James Carville?

Take your own advice and use "facts" in your excuses for left-wing double standards and B.S. What a waste of time to even respond to you!

8:54 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Hey, Pete --

It wouldn't be such a waste of your time to respond to me if you actually had a fact or two at your command.

Sad that you don't.

Do you have information that contradicts what the 9/11 Commission reported, or do you choose to simply parrot the statements of the genocidal Sudanese regime (then echoed by Mr. Hannity).

Saying "neener neener, I hate you" is indeed a waste of time -- yours, mine, and everybody else's.

But if you actually had something like a fact, it might be useful!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

If you had a fact, you wouldn't recognize it! But, I digress...

11:09 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Again, Pete, I have posted information. A quote from the 9/11 Commission.

Do you have evidence that they're wrong? Lying? Mistaken?

Do you have any evidence at all?

Of course not. You pick up scurrilous lies from third-rate hacks like Hannity, and think that you can deflect a real argument by name-calling.

Pathetic... and yet, oddly typical.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

The 9/11 Commission Report is at best incomplete. At times, it is contradictory and at others, vague. Numerous critics say it did not "drill down" to get to facts that answered basic questions. Perhaps this is because the Republicans on it were playing CYA for the GOP and Democrats on it were playing CYA for Democrats.

On 8/11/05, the NYTimes reported that the 9/11 Commission had received intelligence information from a member of "Able Danger" (intelligence operation), but a commission member denied having been briefed, then remembered they had been after his memory was refreshed by Rep Weldon. Still the commission decided not to include information from "Able Danger," because it "...did not mesh with other conclusions that we were drawing" from the investigation and was considered by the commission "historically insignificant."

On 9/15/05, the Boston Globe reported that co-chairman, Thomas Kean, denied the commission had ever been told Mohammed Atta had been identified to them, despite the fact that Mr. Felzenberg, commission chief spokesman, on 8/11/05 verified that Atta's name had been given to the commission.

On 11/7/05, the Wall Street Journal reported this quote from former FBI Director, Louis Freeh: "The Able Danger intelligence, if confirmed, is undoubtedly the most relevant fact of the entire post-9/11 inquiry. Yet the 9/11 Commission inexplicably concluded that it 'was not historically significant.' This astounding conclusion—in combination with the failure to investigate Able Danger and incorporate it into its findings—raises serious challenges to the commission's credibility and, if the facts prove out, might just render the commission historically insignificant itself."

So, how far did the commission "drill down" to "investigate" the matter of the Sudanese having offered to turn over bin Laden to Mr. Clinton? We don't know. But if it did as good a job on that matter as it did on "Able Danger," there is a lot more to be learned, at least. At best, we might be able to determine whether Sudan or Ms. Albright is better at remembering the truth of what happened.

4:51 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

So on the one hand we have the 9/11 commission verdict on the rumored Sudanese offer to Clinton. On the other hand, some people are unhappy with completely unrelated parts of the 9/11 report.

Therefore, Clinton is a scumbag and Bush is a God.

Got to love right-wing thinking.

10:41 AM  

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