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HIPAA

PRIVACYnotes Discussion List
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine Privacynotes
privacy@privacynotes.com www.privacynotes.com
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November 21, 2002 Issue #035
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

"Big Brother is Here - Finally" ~ Ronni Rhodes ~ Moderator Comment

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

Last week I mentioned that I was stunned how little news coverage surrounded the latest announcement of a Bush administration's "Total Information Awareness" or "TIA" program, to be headed by Admiral John Poindexter, of Iran/Contra fame. The media attention was very limited but for a New York Times article three weeks ago. Since then there has been little attention paid to this program, but I want to review the news links that I'm aware of and ask that subscribers send any additional news story links to Privacynotes as I believe this is one of the most serious attacks against personal privacy ever seen! As I said in my comments last week, I believe Big Brother is Here - Finally. TIA is his name.

In Privacynotes issue #31- I listed an opinion piece at C|Net from David Holtzman in which he satirizes about a Total Information Awareness type of system. This was before the TIA system was announced publicly. I laughed along with him when he said,

"Analysts call this predictive capability an 'Indications and Warning' system, although no one has ever come close to building anything this broad in scope. Some might also say that's a laughable idea."

Re-reading that piece is highly recommended in light of the TIA proposal. Go to:

http://news.com.com/2010-1071-962828.html

The John Markoff New York Times article followed on November 9th announcing TIA (right after issue #33 of Privacynotes was distributed).

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html

The week of November 14th I commented on that story and referenced the official pentagon web site outlining this absurd program. Go to:

http://www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm

I also mentioned the William Safire opinion piece that subscriber Ronni Rhodes points out below in her comments. Go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/14/opinion/14SAFI.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

Then on Thursday evening November 14th Nightline did a segment on TIA. You can watch that on RealVideo or read the recap on the web site by visiting the ABC News Nightline page at:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/Nightline/nl021115_homeland.html

Rob Morse of the San Francisco Chronicle added his commentary yesterday titled, "Fighting terror by terrifying U.S. citizens"

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/11/20/MN218568.DTL

That may seem like a fair amount of coverage for a story with lesser implications for your life. But I'm going to suggest that if this program moves forward and is not stopped dead in it's tracks, that we will all be very sorry we paid so little attention to it before it became a monster.

David Holtzman commented in his piece at C|Net before TIA was announced

Satire--the aim of this article--helps force people to examine the implications of their positions. Polarized posturing often leads to highly hairy outcomes, and nothing causes fuzz to sprout like some good old incomprehensible technology. The big question is, how much surveillance do we need to accomplish the goal of reasonable protection? Extreme solutions don't solve problems better--they just introduce new pain. Al-Qaida will eventually be wiped out, but the bureaucrat at the Department of Motor Vehicles and his buddies will be sniggering over your sexual proclivities for years. Years? That's right. And if you think that we're going to build and then throw away an information system this complex and expensive, I have some old voting machines in Florida to sell you.

Please pay attention to this issue now and let your elected representatives know how you feel before Big Brother (TIA) arrives.

 

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

==> TOPIC: BIG BROTHER IS HERE - FINALLY

From: Ronni Rhodes

William Safire, who is NOT known as an alarmist or anti-government activist, published an article on this very topic:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/14/opinion/14SAFI.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

I find it disheartening that government is using the vague umbrella of "Homeland Security" to invade our most personal spaces. I fully support President Bush and his colleagues in the War on Terrorism, but must we carry this crusade into each and every living room in the country? Shouldn't we be expending our resources to correct some of the excesses of the I.N.S., for example, instead of tracking our own citizens?

I strongly urge people to contact their representatives and let them know that this proposed "security" measure is outrageous.

Best regards,

Ignite Your Site with Sound and Motion! http://www.wbcimaging.com

 

[ Moderator Comment ] The following post was sent anonymously as a comment to the William Safire column mentioned by Ronni Rhodes, above. The contributor wishes to remain anonymous for now. I imagine more of us will opt to remain anonymous if things continue in the current vein politically. Will privacy advocates be called 'Terrorist Sympathizers' or some equally absurd thing because we seek to maintain personal privacy?

From: Anonymous

> If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before passage, here is what will happen to you: Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual, centralized > grand database."

Could this be true?? and not be front page . If so we are in bigger trouble than I ever thought. How could any politician allow this? This is so far from of the people by the people and for the people.

 

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

Moderator note: There are two ways to access previously listed privacy news stories. One is to visit Privacynotes archives, the other (simpler) way is to visit

http://privacynotes.com/privacy_news.html where I also keep a privacy news archive.

Questioning Mitchell Wagenberg can be unnerving, not least because he is apt to videotape the encounter through his eyeglasses or through a rivet on his belt. "I might as well just give the ballgame away right now," he said here recently after an hour's conversation, fumbling to reveal a minuscule camera in his shirt button. "Of course, I am completely wired, talking to you. Everything's being recorded." Mr. Wagenberg, known as the "king of the hidden camera" to a tiny elite of news media and law enforcement representatives who regularly employ him, may be a privacy advocate's worst nightmare. He has made a business of turning private moments into very public affairs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/20/arts/television/20HIDD.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

The drive to kill all privacy in financial dealings and communications is nearing a conclusion. The control freaks are winning, and your privacy is just about gone. The imminent signing of the Homeland Security bill, a governmental reorganization with many antPrivacynotes provisions, is just one more blow. It follows last year's ill-named USA Patriot Act, which shredded civil liberties in its zeal to give law enforcement and security people every tool they needed to investigate terrorism threats. As usual, key provisions have had no debate or scrutiny. Meanwhile, a secretive court has sided with the Bush administration -- easily the most hostile to liberty in our lifetime -- in greatly expanding law enforcement's surveillance capabilities. The decision blows new holes in what was left of the Fourth Amendment, even as it pretends to support constitutional rights.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4559828.htm

Anyone who worries that the war on terrorism will inspire an era of unprecedented government spying on Americans has new cause for concern. The top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review handed the government broad new authority yesterday to wiretap phone calls, intercept mail and spy on Internet use of ordinary Americans. The Supreme Court and Congress should reverse this misguided ruling. In May the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, a lower tribunal established in 1978 to oversee domestic spying by the government, issued a stern rebuke to the Justice Department for its practices. The court identified 75 instances in which the F.B.I. had abused its authority, in some cases by making false statements in eavesdropping applications.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/19/opinion/19TUE2.html Registration required, read and understand the NYTimes privacy policy!

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