Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

The UK plans to extend requirements for its already, overly large ID database to include the Independent Safeguarding Authority‘s vetting database.  The new guidelines appear to make it so that everyone suspects everyone else.  If you haven’t been vetted by this system, then its assumed your some sort of kiddie fiddler and up to no good.

The government’s approach actually manages to trivialise an extremely important area by turning it into just another pervasive and annoying bureaucratic system that everyone uses without thinking. It’s the same for ID cards: if they are ever fully implemented, they will weaken our overall security by encouraging people to depend on them routinely rather than on their own knowledge and instincts. Once criminals and terrorists manage to subvert the system – as they will, by bribes or blackmail – they will then have perfect credentials for committing their crimes *more* easily than before.

The UK will discover the hard way, that sprinkling magical ID fairy dust isn’t going to solve anything.  It will only make things worse.

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Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare has introduced a bill into the New Hampshire state legislature that would prohibit banks from requiring fingerprints in order for non customers to cash a check.  Currently, Bank of America is the only bank in the state that requires such action, however, Rep. Kurk wants to stop the practice before it becomes widespread.

“Even if the FBI is not involved,” he told The Telegraph, “the government could get that information. Not to mention, anyone could hack into that system and access that information.”

The American Bankers Association argues that fingerprinting is primarily used as a deterrent to criminals attempting to cash fraudulent checks. Apparently not sufficiently deterred by the fact that a camera is staring them in the face, recording their every move, these criminals are supposedly frightened away by the prospect of rendering a thumbprint.

In a November 2007 press release on check fraud losses at U.S. banks, the ABA reported that while attempted check fraud continued to rise, existing check fraud prevention systems, which for the most part do not include fingerprinting, kept actual losses significantly lower. In listing the most effective fraud prevention measures in the same press release, the ABA does not even mention fingerprinting.

It is amazing that a bank that is willing to give credit cards to illegal immigrants is now complaining about fraud.  Currently, the only thing Bank of America is doing is helping crooks and customers find other places to do their business.

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Paul Krassner: Who’s To Say What’s Obscene? from DANGEROUS MINDS on Vimeo.

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In case you missed it, the presentations and recordings from this year’s Black Hat Conference are now online for you to read.  Go and learn how to make your computers more secure.

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You really can’t deny that the UK is turning into 1984.  It’s no longer a conspiracy theory by fringe elements.  Placing CCTV cameras in people’s homes is Orwellian.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

Anyone who reads this story and doesn’t believe that this is a huge invasion of privacy, really doesn’t understand the implications of such a program.  This is a huge intrusion onto a family who won’t be allowed to make small, simple mistakes while being monitored, without some government agency pointing a finger at them.

The UK sat back and did nothing to prevent the mass spreading of CCTV in public, now, they will sit back again because these are “only chavs and scum who probably did something wrong anyway.”  Once everyone gets used to having them, they’ll be implemented everywhere.

If you need 24/7 supervision of your kids, you’re doing it wrong and the kids should be taken away from you.  Monitoring people to make sure their kids are put to bed on time is asinine and it will never work.

EDIT 1: Please also note, that this article is from the Daily Express, which is known to exaggerate quite often.  However, the scheme does already exist.  You can read all the details of it, including where it states that the CCTV is the top tier and is used as an alternative to using the police and child support interventions.  That means your children would be taken away and you could end up in prison.

EDIT 2: It is also not mandatory.  The Telegraph and Daily Mail have articles covering the story as well, however, they do not include anything about CCTV.  The Daily Mail claimed last year that the program does not work and we’re just throwing money away.

Whether compulsory or not, monitoring your personal behavior is wrong.  If you can’t take care of your children, you shouldn’t have them.  If you have failed at raising your kids that badly, no amount of supervision, CCTV or not, is ever going to change that.

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