Friday, August 3, 2007

Fixing FISA?





I may be the only liberal blogger who will say this, but I don't think it matters much if congress changes the FISA laws. The current law, which our shrub has broken routinely, allows "spy first-warrant later" wiretapping. It's a lousy law but even if congress makes it worse it won't make much of a difference. Why do I say this? Because in this digital age, data mining is already so widespread that the government and corporations already have you profiled.


Try this simple experiment:


Move.


Don't submit a change of address with the post office.


Do change your address on one (only one) utility or bank account.


See how long it takes for your bills to show up at your new address.


I did this when I moved into my current residence (none of the utilities are in my name) and began receiving mail at my new address within a week. The IRS sent tax forms to the new address. The state sent me a new drivers license with the new address in about a month (I hadn't requested one).


If you're active on the Internet, a simple Google search can reveal a lot of information about you as the (evil) practice of "outing" has shown.


Anyone who's savvy with a scanner can intercept cell phone traffic. In short, privacy isn't protected anymore.


While I wish that our administration would obey the laws, our shrub refuses to comply with the "quaint" constitution. His behavior won't change, whether congress gives him cover or not.

6 comments:

whig said...

Move.

Don't submit a change of address with the post office.

Do change your address on one (only one) utility or bank account.

...

The state sent me a new drivers license with the new address in about a month (I hadn't requested one).


There must be some mistake here. No way.

pygalgia said...

'Fraid so. Since the state went to digital licenses, you can easily do a change of address online. But I didn't even take that step.

DCup said...

You are so right!

Information is tagged and manipulated and it follows you.

We receive mail for The Honey's mother who died in 1992. We're in Georgia now after living at three address in Illinois and one in Indiana before settling here four years ago.

The Honey's mother lived in the city of Chicago her entire 57 years.

It never fails to amaze me how little privacy we have.

And you're right on the law, too. It's not the law or the privacy so much as it is the fact that once again, the Bushes demonstrate an utter disregard for the law in any form.

Long live the king.

whig said...

What if you moved out of state? I've never seen government issue identification cards without proof of address, so it just seems mindblowing. I mean, if you changed your bank account to deliver mail to a private mailbox at the UPS Store, it would be pretty surprising to have your driver's license automatically changed and reissued to that address.

whig said...

Of course, I know nothing about Arizona except that I spent a week in Tucson visiting my sister when she was attending U of A.

Will Dwinnell said...

...in this digital age, data mining is already so widespread...


But none of the things you mention are "data mining". Data mining is the construction of predictive statistical models, not simple information-gathering.

The things which you criticize, which I agree threaten civil liberties and personal privacy, involve the gathering and sharing of private information, not data mining (statistical modeling).