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Don’t Send Us To Jail

What a bunch of self-serving garbage: Intelligence deputy to America: Rethink privacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States change their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.

Kerr’s comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Kerr said at an October intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, that he finds it odd that some would be concerned that the government may be listening in when people are “perfectly willing for a green-card holder at an [Internet service provider] who may or may have not have been an illegal entrant to the United States to handle their data.”

He noted that government employees face up to five years in prison and $100,000 in fines if convicted of misusing private information.

Translation: change the law so my friends and I don’t get shipped to prison for all of the illegal wiretapping we’ve been doing.

Just because, despite warnings, kids reveal all of their information on a social web site is no reason to give the government a pass on illegally wiretapping my telephone.

A point of law, if they have a green card, they are in the country legally, they have documents. In any case I paid my ISP in cash until I got DSL and the only information my ISP had was a name and the fact that I paid quarterly in advance. My cell phone company has the device identifier of my cell phone, the telephone number, and the zip code where it is primarily used. Don’t tell me I can’t be anonymous if I insist.

The penalty on “misuse of private information” didn’t apply to the idiot in the VA who had a laptop with thousands of veterans records on it, and means I have to have a fraud watch on my bank accounts. It’s rather obvious that the only people who get privacy protection are those who write energy bills at meetings with Dick.

Until the Constitution is amended I have the absolute right to the privacy protections from government intrusion that are contained in the Fourth Amendment.

Donald, save your arguments for the sentencing hearing.

12 comments

1 hipparchia { 11.12.07 at 12:23 am }

i saw that.

the scary thing is that there are plenty of people who will go along with that, saying i don’t mind if anybody listens to my phone calls; i’m not doing anything wrong, sentencing? i’m thinking he’s not even going to be indicted.

2 Fallenmonk { 11.12.07 at 6:31 am }

I gave up on the concept of privacy a while back. Now I just assume everything I do is monitored and recorded. I still have a monitor on my credit reports and the like but if I want to keep it a secret then I don’t tell anyone and I sure as hell don’t put it in anything electronic.
When I was in the intelligence game we did a pretty thorough job of gathering information and that was 30 years ago. With the changes in technology since then I know nothing is immune.

3 Bryan { 11.12.07 at 10:14 am }

Hipparchia, CNN has been running one of their polls and it’s running 60/40 against giving up privacy for security reasons. The 40% who think it’s OK are troubling, but that includes the hardcore supporters of the Hedgemony.

It doesn’t buy us anything, and isn’t making us any safer.

Well, we know that if you don’t make an effort nothing you do on the ‘Net is encrypted, FM, and I don’t trust government or business to protect information because they don’t pay any penalty when they screw up. Laws on the books mean nothing if they aren’t enforced. How much jail time did any of the people who outed a covert CIA agent do? Zero. Don’t tell me about penalties for illegal disclosure unless you can show me where you have actually done something about it.

4 Badtux { 11.12.07 at 10:37 am }

Gosh darn it, might as well re-think the rest of those rights in the Bill of Rights too while we’re at it. Free speech? Objectively pro-terrorist. Freedom of assembly? Too scary in the modern world. Right to an attorney? If you want an attorney you must be a terrorist so obviously if you support the right to an attorney you’re a supporter of terrorism. Etc.

Let’s face it, these fuckheads aren’t going to be happy until the Constitution is a flaming pile of ashes and they’re running the country as a dictatorship. That’s what everything they say points to in the end. They don’t want to re-think privacy. They want to re-think the entire Bill of Rights out of existence and have gotten a darn good start at it.

5 Bryan { 11.12.07 at 1:46 pm }

Roger that, Badtux. I know I don’t have any privacy if I don’t put curtains on the windows, but I have a right to hang the curtains. If they think it’s so important they can add a check off box on the tax forms saying something like “it’s fine by me if the government wants to snoop in all of my affairs” and see what kind of response they get.

I’m sick and tired of having to “opt out” of all of these programs that “share” [sell, by any other name] my personal information. I want to at least get a royalty.

6 Cookie Jill { 11.12.07 at 7:02 pm }

These folks are using the Constitution as toilet paper. They need to go to jail. Let them try out Gitmo.

7 Bryan { 11.12.07 at 7:34 pm }

Add their names to the “No-Fly” list, send them to Europe and let the law take its course.

8 Cookie Jill { 11.12.07 at 9:28 pm }

Actually, Senator Kennedy found out he is on the no-fly list.

9 Bryan { 11.12.07 at 9:36 pm }

That list is a real winner – I personally know three different Edward Kennedys. What is the point?

10 Steve Bates { 11.12.07 at 10:26 pm }

As noted in an earlier thread, I’d like to go visit American friends living in Amsterdam. That would entail renewing my passport and boarding an airplane. (It’s too far to swim.) These days, I’m not certain whether I’d be allowed to do either.

If you don’t have anything to hide… you nonetheless probably have things you’d just as soon not shout to the wider world. Privacy is not the same as secrecy. Privacy is normal, not malicious. Privacy is a right.

11 Bryan { 11.12.07 at 10:47 pm }

I think you are cursed with a common name. As near as I can tell they are including aliases in this stupid list. The rule for professionals when it comes to aliases is to use a common name that produces so many hits in a records check that it won’t be obvious who you are supposed to be.

Even with out that problem, the State Department is so understaffed and overwhelmed with passport requests you need to apply a year in advance to be sure you’ll get one, even if you aren’t on a list, and assume that they will lose your application at least once.

These people pass mandates, and then fail to plan for the workload those mandates will generate. They are totally incompetent and are in power for another 14 months.

12 Cookie Jill { 11.13.07 at 10:02 pm }

Mr. Kerr…meet Poncho…Poncho…meet….