May 1, 2007

Welcome to America. Passport and Fingerprints please.

A new poll shows that Americans think the Bush administration has gone too far with it’s security programs versus liberty.

The survey by UPI polled 5,932 persons. 33% percent of those polled thought the Bush administration had "found the right balance between personal security and personal freedom," while 49% thought the administration had gone a little too far. 7% felt the administration had actually weakened security by not going further in it’s efforts.

55% of respondents said they were comfortable with the US Government conducting warrant less surveillance if international communications by Americans with terrorist suspects.

To me this sounds like an open ended invitation for the Government to wire-tap anybody it wants too, for whatever reason.

62% also felt the “Government should always be required to get a warrant or court order before monitoring communications (phone, e-mails) of American citizens or legal immigrants.”

Here’s where the results start to get a little scary!

Americans appeared at ease with the idea that federal agencies should be able to analyze vast collections of their personal data for patterns and connections that might reveal terrorist activity.
Asked about such techniques, known as data-mining, 50 percent said U.S. agencies should be allowed to use them on personal data such as "credit-card transactions, charitable donations and travel histories."

This I find to be very intrusive of a ‘democratic’ Government. Keeping an eye on spending patterns, and where you travel to and from, as well as knowing what your favorite Chinese take out item is from your favorite restaurant, does not sound like a Government who is very trusting of it’s citizens.

The survey also revealed nearly 100% of liberals felt the balance had tipped too far toward security. 69% percent of Republicans felt the Administration had the balance just right.

Story Here

(Disclaimer: to the NSA police who are reading this; it’s me, Vice that posted this, not Carol. Don’t be getting your ‘vast’ database all screwed up by getting the author of this post wrong if you've got a problem with it. If you have any questions, just call. Maybe I’ll answer.)

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Will Dwinnell said...

I agree that government review of individual citizens' "credit-card transactions, charitable donations and travel histories" without cause is inappropriate. I suggest, though, that it is not data mining (which is a sophisticated statistical analysis) which is the issue, but the inappropriate access and sharing of personal data which is the issue. Like any technology, data mining is only as "good" or "bad" as its application. No one would object, for example to data mining performed on scientific data.

Carol said...

I concur with this Post. I think it is completely inappropriate for the Government to monitor anything we do unless or until there are warrants in place that were obtained legally. No need for the Disclaimer Vice. We are on the same page and you said this better than I ever could have.