Monday, December 31, 2007

What Country Is This?

This is description of the lack of protection in a country which was recently downgraded by the Privacy International Organization from being considered an "extensive surveillace society" to the most repressive classification, an "endemnic surveillance society".
These are some of the repressive conditions found in this country:
  • No right to privacy in constitution, though search and seizure protections exist in 4th Amendment; case law on government searches has considered new technology
  • No comprehensive privacy law, many sectoral laws; though tort of privacy
  • FTC continues to give inadequate attention to privacy issues, though issued self-regulating privacy guidelines on advertising in 2007
  • State-level data breach legislation has proven to be useful in identifying faults in security
  • REAL-ID and biometric identification programs continue to spread without adequate oversight, research, and funding structures
  • Extensive data-sharing programs across federal government and with private sector
  • Spreading use of CCTV
  • Congress approved presidential program of spying on foreign communications over U.S. networks, e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, etc.; and now considering immunity for telephone companies, while government claims secrecy, thus barring any legal action
  • No data retention law as yet, but equally no data protection law
  • World leading in border surveillance, mandating trans-border data flows
  • Weak protections of financial and medical privacy; plans spread for 'rings of steel' around cities to monitor movements of individuals
  • Democratic safeguards tend to be strong but new Congress and political dynamics show that immigration and terrorism continue to leave politicians scared and without principle
  • Lack of action on data breach legislation on the federal level while REAL-ID is still compelled upon states has shown that states can make informed decisions
  • Recent news regarding FBI biometric database raises particular concerns as this could lead to the largest database of biometrics around the world that is not protected by strong privacy law
The country being described has just entered into a class along with China, Russia, Great Britain and Indonesia yet the popular notion among the citizens is that they are the most free nation on earth.

Of course from the language of the above points, it's easy to deduce that the country I am referring to is The United States. From the information available on The Privacy International Organization website, it is easy to see how tragically and how fast personal freedoms and the right to privacy in America has been systematically dismantled.

This is a fascinating and chilling report which rates 47 countries on a number of points and makes some pretty interesting conclusions. It looks like the countries which have survived and recovered from repressive totalitarianism are the least repressive.
Who would have ever thought Greece would be rated the least repressive and surveillance free countries in Europe?

1 comment:

engineer of knowledge said...

Hello Microdot,
Today I just road passed a little evangelical type church and it had a sign announcing the topic of this past Sunday’s sermon. I read it in disbelief knowing what brainwashing of the lemmings that would accept what was being told to them with the response of bobble heading nods of acknowledgement on how profound and true the message was.


You don’t need to question what is being told to you, just accept that you don’t need those antiquated Bill Of Rights so let’s just get rid of them and your government will protect you from those Godless types that are hiding around every dark corner trying to attack you in your homes while you sit by the fireplace trying to keep warm.

Ignore physics and genetic scientific facts, stick your head in the sand, and proclaim that everything you want to disagree with is the product of the Liberal media.

Over the holiday I read about the Cathars that were living in the southern part of France in the 12th century. They originated in the Armenian and Greek regions and were Christians following the correspondence writings of Paul to the Greeks. They were attacked, gathered up, and exterminated by the established Roman Catholic Church Christians because their religious beliefs differed from the Cathars. In reality, it was nothing more than a flimsy excuse for a massive land grab from those who resided on it. But still, all in the name of good Christian religion.

So in summation, the more things seem to change, the more it just really stays the same. Be it oil in the middle east or the interference in policies that would finically harm the oil / coal industries.

Of the greed, by the greed, and for the greed (masked in religion).