Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Privacy should not be a commodity.

Let us speak together about ethics and morals, and those who wink at acts that violate the letter and the spirit of BOTH the Constitution and the Ten Commandments.

It's pretty clear to me that these folks want both mounted on the walls of courthouses in exactly the same spirit that they want the head of a 12-prong buck mounted in their den.

"I killed that. Have a nice Havana. I know a guy in Miami."

AP: Police got phone data from brokers - Yahoo! News:
"WASHINGTON - Numerous federal and local law enforcement agencies have bypassed subpoenas and warrants designed to protect civil liberties and gathered Americans' personal telephone records from private-sector data brokers."
The existance of "data brokerages" is not exactly breaking news for people who've been on the net awhile, but it's apparently news to those the Associated Press informs. But I confess I had not really considered the implications as fully as I should have.

A lawmaker who has investigated the industry said Monday he was concerned by the practices of data brokers.

"We know law enforcement has used this because it is easily obtained and you can gather a lot of information very quickly," said Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., head of the House Energy and Commerce investigations subcommittee. The panel expects to conduct hearings this week.

Whitfield said data companies will relentlessly pursue a target's personal information. "They will impersonate and use everything available that they have to convince the person who has the information to share it with them, and it's shocking how successful they are," Whitfield said. "They can basically obtain any information about anybody on any subject."

The congressman said laws on the subject are vague: "There's a good chance there are some laws being broken, but it's not really clear precisely which laws."

Now, here's an idea. How about creating some clear and precise laws that prevent third parties from gaining by stealth and misdirection what the government is forbidden to obtain without a proper warrent? Is that not what "lawmakers" do?

It's pretty clear to me that when one party pays good money to poke into the private life of others, their intents are pobably not to the benifit of the other party. This priciple alone should put it clearly into the category of theft and trespass. And for those who cannot understand the Constitution, well, both of those concepts are in the Ten Commandments.

In this case, my dear Theocons, read 'em and weep. If you wish to shove them down the throats of the entire nation, it seems fair that you should first digest them yourselves.

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