Monday, September 26, 2011

At Least Their Cameras Aren't in Our Homes Yet.......Are they?

The first time I read George Orwell's 1984 I was 13 years old.  The entire concept gave me the creeps.  But it was just an interesting work of fiction.   No one would really want to maintain this level of control over the populace.  I read it again in college and this time I saw where people might want the control, but really, people wouldn't stand for it.  Recently I've felt the urge to read it for a third time. 

In many cities you can't exit your home without being on one camera or another.  The poorly named Patriot Act allows our government to secretly record phone calls without warrants or through warrants obtained through secret courts.  The fourth amendment is suspended the moment you walk into government buildings, airports, train stations, or even down the sidewalk of many cities.  Even driving your car you are being monitored electronically by speed cameras, red light cameras, traffic monitoring cameras.  As this article describes, schools may even be monitoring students through cameras installed on their laptops.

So, yes, it appears that the cameras might already be in our homes.  Hell, about the only place we have privacy or the expectation of it left is with our Doctors, Priests and Lawyers.  Government has been working on the lawyer angle for years.  Federal and state agencies continuously attempt to further regulate the practice of law, often in violation of State Constitutional provisions that reserve the regulation of the practice of law to specialized bodies, such as the Supreme Court or State Bar associations.

Now we learn of a proposed rule implementing obamecare (also laughingly known as the Affordable care act).  There are several areas of concern with this proposed regulation which requires insurance companies to turn over health records and business information to the Government.  Obviously loss of patient privacy is the first concern.  What the government has in the way of information about its citizens it will not hesitate to use against you.  Additionally, they do not exactly have the most stellar track record when it comes to data security.  And really, with either being immune or insulated from the financial strain of litigation as an insurance company would not be, the Government isn't as highly motivated to pursue data security either.

Similar to many other forms of tyranny, these have come about at our own request.  The desire for security on the streets, for safety in our commutes, for fair arbiters in traffic accidents, for revenue for our cities to build new schools and jails, for safety in the skies and safety from terrorists, for all of these reasons did we ask for this invasion into our privacy.  Let us pray it is not too late to ask that it be removed.

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