Totally Out To Get You

Over yonder at Bob Cringely's Pulpit, he's discussing the issue of security at the Utah games. In particular the FBI requirement that the public email terminals have both the ability to let them record everything, including your passwords, and also to intercept your message until they get around to delivering it, or not.

Here's Bob,

"And the truly amazing part of this story is that there is nothing illegal about the data gathering, itself. Since the kiosk doesn't belong to you or me, we are bound by terms of usage that allow the kiosk provider to do pretty much whatever they want with the bits we run through their system. By simply using their machine, we give up our privacy without even knowing it."

Why is this suddenly okay because I used a keyboard and not a telephone?

Nations put great stock in privacy -- much of their business is "secret". Businesses have trade secrets and trade marks and copyrights and patents and non-disclosure agreements. Why this sudden belief that it is unhealthy and dangerous to society for the individual to have privacy?

In the democratic tradition of oversimplification (think of it as mob rule with cheerleaders) I find I'm on a side of a polarized issue. Because I believe in anonymous cash and private speech I am considered alike with militia nutbars and goth kids who might finally have had enough.

Why on earth don't we have an institutionalized Human Right to Privacy? Seems it's not even in the public conciousness. Freedom of speech is worthless if you haven't the freedom to think your own thoughts through first.

This site is strictly personal. I give no guarantee to the accuracy of my facts or my fictions.
© 2000 Owen Briggs
last modified on 20 aug 00