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We’re all under surveillance now

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At least he’s not playing Galaga.

This week the Supreme Court ruled that those being arrested, not convicted of any crime, can have their DNA taken and entered into a database to compare against DNA taken from cold cases.

Last week a federal judge ruled that Google must turn over records to the government, even though the FBI had no warrant, relying instead on “National Security Letters.”

Increasingly, everything about us — our genetic information, our activities, our beliefs — are being distilled to entries into gigantic databases.

In a few states, lawmakers jump at the carrot of an extensive online library and let a private venture gather personal data on students and store it in the cloud. Indeed, young people have so much data collected from them at every point of their lives, it is a wonder they have any concept of privacy at all.
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And yesterday we learned that the NSA is currently collecting millions of phone records of citizens from Verizon. This massive collection of information is the meta-data that tells who called whom and for how long, as well as other identifiers like location. The collection began in April and will continue through July 19.

There is no indication that Verizon is the only phone company supplying the government this data. It seems a reasonable assumption that all phone companies in the U.S. received similar demands, and they probably complied with them.


Read more at my Washington Times Community Pages column “Between Errands.”

2 responses to “We’re all under surveillance now”

  1. Wayne Cockfield Avatar
    Wayne Cockfield

    They only want to protect us. Right? Right??

  2. April Avatar

    If that makes you feel better, Wayne, sure. But then there’s this: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

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