Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Big Brother Is Watching X
The American Civil Liberties Union has drafted an interesting report entitled "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society."

In an email to David Farber's Interesting People mailing list, ACLU staffer Barry Steinhardt says:

"This report grew out of our sense here at the ACLU that in order to make progress on the privacy issue, we have to shift the terms of the debate. When viewed in isolation, many new privacy invasions seem harmless to many Americans, who don’t see why they should care that (for example) someone is recording the date and time that they drive through a tollbooth. To understand the privacy issue one has to look at the big picture to understand that each new piece of information collected about us, no matter how seemingly harmless, is increasingly being added together with thousands of other data points to create an extremely intrusive, high-resolution picture of our lives.

"The need to shift the terms of the debate on privacy to focus more on the big picture was made a lot easier by the breaking of the story of the Pentagon/Poindexter Total Information Awareness program and that story has provided the perfect opportunity to try to spark a broader discussion of how we are going to handle all the intrusive new technologies that are being developed, and what we are going to let this country turn into."

Thanks to Interesting People.

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