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The US Government Today Has More Data On The Average American Than The Stasi Did On East Germans
TechDirt ^ | 10/03/12 | TechDirt

Posted on 10/05/2012 7:07:19 PM PDT by RobertClark

We've written plenty about how the US government has been quite aggressive in spying on Americans. It has been helped along by a court system that doesn't seem particularly concerned about the 4th Amendment and by the growing ability of private companies to have our data and to then share it with the government at will. Either way, in a radio interview, Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin (who's been one of the best at covering the surveillance state in the US) made a simple observation that puts much of this into context: the US surveillance regime has more data on the average American than the Stasi ever did on East Germans. And, of course, as we've already seen, much of that data seems to be collected illegally with little oversight... and with absolutely no security benefit.

To be fair, part of the reason for why this is happening is purely technical/practical. While the Stasi likely wanted more info and would have loved to have been able to tap into a digitally connected world like we have today, that just wasn't possible. The fact that we have so much data about us in connected computers makes it an entirely different world. So, from a practical level, there's a big difference.

That said, it still should be terrifying. Even if there are legitimate technical reasons for why the government has so much more data on us, it doesn't change the simple fact (true both then and now) that such data is wide open to abuse, which inevitably happens. The ability of government officials to abuse access to information about you for questionable purposes is something that we should all be worried about. Even those who sometimes have the best of intentions seem to fall prey to the temptation to use such access in ways that strip away civil liberties and basic expectations of privacy. Unfortunately, the courts seem to have very little recognition of the scope of the issue, and there's almost no incentive for Congress (and certainly the executive branch) to do anything at all to fix this.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2012; bigbrother; cwii; dhs; dontspyonme; donttreadonme; government; govtabuse; nazistate; policestate; privacy; tsa; tyranny; waronliberty

1 posted on 10/05/2012 7:07:27 PM PDT by RobertClark
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To: RobertClark

So...


2 posted on 10/05/2012 7:11:08 PM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: RobertClark

And just how many on this thread even KNOW who the STASI were?

Or the the CHEKA?

I could go on, but its a moot point.


3 posted on 10/05/2012 7:12:13 PM PDT by ConradofMontferrat (PER)
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To: RobertClark

Well duh. What do folks think Total Information Awareness was all about?


4 posted on 10/05/2012 7:12:21 PM PDT by petitfour
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To: RobertClark

And most of it is willingly given.


5 posted on 10/05/2012 7:15:30 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

As long as we can watch Snooki and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, what could possibly go wrong?


6 posted on 10/05/2012 7:20:02 PM PDT by BipolarBob (G Orwell was an optimist it seems.)
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To: ConradofMontferrat
And just how many on this thread even KNOW who the STASI were?

Or the the CHEKA?

I could go on, but its a moot point.

I think many do, I certainly do - my Jewish grandparents fled after their home and business were raided by the Stasi. In many ways, the TSA and Homeland Security are turning into the Stasi / KGB.

7 posted on 10/05/2012 7:22:36 PM PDT by RobertClark (Be prepared, be polite, be professional and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: ConradofMontferrat

Just one interesting observation about those days: East German enlisted man, with rifle, stands on the line. East German runner breaks through the fence and dashes for West Berlin. EG Officer tells EG enlisted man to gun down runner.

Quandary: You DON’T shoot your fellow citizen, and you are court marshaled, stripped of rank, reduced in pay, your family starves. You DO shoot your fellow citizen, nothing happens right away. But 15 years later, you are put on trial for MURDER! Because you DIDN’T refuse your superior’s orders! (true story)

The mantra: “But I was just following orders” was thrown out at Nuremberg. Hey Soldier, You are ON YOUR OWN.

Nice place to be, eh BUREAUKARATZ!.

Life has a way of messing with those who think they are in a lofty position of POWER.


8 posted on 10/05/2012 7:24:13 PM PDT by ConradofMontferrat (PER)
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To: ConradofMontferrat

Life has a way of messing with those who think they are in a lofty position of POWER.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who in your anecdote is the person in a lofty position of power?


9 posted on 10/05/2012 7:34:36 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: RobertClark

Big Deal!

So does Kroegers...


10 posted on 10/05/2012 7:37:08 PM PDT by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: equaviator

Interesting

There is a theory that both Google and FB are supported by the government because they are large data collecting machines and that if the economics of either are looked at in detail, they just do not make the monies through their business model that would support the level of income they have.


11 posted on 10/05/2012 7:37:08 PM PDT by Chickensoup (STOP The Great O-ppression)
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To: RobertClark

So they know i like kittens and hairy women


12 posted on 10/05/2012 7:38:31 PM PDT by al baby (“If Barack Obama has a Harvard law degree, he didn’t earn that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
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To: RobertClark

I remember reading once that the Nazis were very surprised when they occupied France that the French government collected more information and spied on their people much more thoroughly than the Gestapo would’ve dared to.


13 posted on 10/05/2012 7:38:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: RobertClark

This is why the Stasi were so brutal. With what little info they had, they had to resort to kicking in doors at midnight, conducting searches, and letting the citizens know who was in charge.

Today, all that info is available without the midnight knock, and the Powers That Be can decide how to control us using less extreme methods. They can much more easily remove real troublemakers and impede the progress of potential problems before they realize they might be a problem.


14 posted on 10/05/2012 7:38:40 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: ConradofMontferrat

“Or the the CHEKA?”

Or know who Lou Bianca was...


15 posted on 10/05/2012 7:40:34 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: RobertClark
This article would have best been written 10-15 years ago...Then it would have been timely...

Too late to do anything about it now...The "beginning" of the predicted 1000-years occurred soon after 2001...

16 posted on 10/05/2012 7:43:49 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: al baby
So they know i like kittens and hairy women

They just look unnatural hairless.


17 posted on 10/05/2012 7:59:10 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Big Bird is a brood parasite: laid in our nest 43 years ago and we are still feeding him.)
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To: RobertClark

Much of it voluntarily offered up on FB


18 posted on 10/05/2012 7:59:24 PM PDT by lightman (Settling for the "lesser of two..." is still choosing Evil)
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To: KarlInOhio

Such cute, mutant Kittehs. I had a couple Cornish Rexes. They had just a tad more hair...but barely.

Anyone that puts anything on Facebook other than cute pictures of kitties, puppies and innocuous jokes is a moron.


19 posted on 10/05/2012 8:05:40 PM PDT by pops88 (Standing with Breitbart for truth)
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To: RobertClark

It works both ways. I can find and ID every politician, judge, cop, IRS agent and government bureaucrat within 25 miles of where I live. I know where they live, where they shop and what vehicles they drive. I also know the local border agent. Once a month, I see the sheriff, his deputies and the head of the state police district at the local American Legion or VFW meeting and we drink beers together.


20 posted on 10/05/2012 8:13:46 PM PDT by sergeantdave (The FBI has declared war on the Marine Corps)
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To: All


Help End The Obama Era In 2012
Your Monthly and Quarterly Donations
Help Keep FR In the Battle!


21 posted on 10/05/2012 8:20:33 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: RobertClark; Eaker; Absolutely Nobama; afnamvet; AK2KX; Ancesthntr; An Old Man; APatientMan; ...

Just rummage around in this FLEA website, and discover many of the wonderful things our FLEAs and LEOs are learning, in order to better protect and serve us.

http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/technical-operations-division

It’s quite eye-opening, to say the least.

Since we are paying their salaries and they work for us, I’m sure they won’t mind us exploring their various current citizen surveillance programs and classes.

Training Programs:
Basic Incident Response to Digital Evidence Program (BIRDE)
Computer Network Investigations Training Program (CNITP)
Covert Electronic Surveillance Program (CESP)
Covert Electronic Tracking Program (CETP)
Digital Evidence Acquisition Specialist Training Program (DEASTP)
Digital Photography for Law Enforcement Level 1 (DPLE1)
Digital Photography for Law Enforcement Level 2 (DPLE2)
Internet Protocol Camera Program (IPCP)
Introduction to Digital Evidence Analysis (IDEA)
Macintosh Forensics Training Program (MFTP)
Mobile Device Investigations Program (MDIP)
Recovery of Evidence from CCTV Video Recordings (RECVR)
Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist (SCERS)


22 posted on 10/05/2012 8:29:37 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: equaviator

It would probably be too complicated for your little libertarian heady to comprehend.


23 posted on 10/05/2012 8:31:31 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Chickensoup

I just want to...see Chuck Berry


24 posted on 10/05/2012 8:32:01 PM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: ConradofMontferrat

The Tom Clancy readers probably know...


25 posted on 10/05/2012 8:40:25 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: Travis McGee

Just think: All that “intel”, effort, money, training, etc, etc, etc, and 19 idiots here on expired visas still did all that damage on 9/11. Nothing has changed. We still let in those that wish us harm and fail to track or deport them. This is all nothing but mental masturbation and way to spend boatloads of taxpayers dollars.

I’ve been through various urban SERE type schools and know what real professionals can do to track someone, so this is all nothing but silly games. It isn’t going to get real until people’s lives are at stake if they fail to win such games.


26 posted on 10/05/2012 8:40:38 PM PDT by CodeToad (Padme: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.")
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To: CodeToad

Meanwhile, they have purged every mention of “jihad” or “islam” from their PC-vetted courses, (and replaced them with “tea party” and “right-wing militias.)


27 posted on 10/05/2012 8:44:56 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: DBrow
That pun took a few seconds to "click"... '-)

(...speaking of "one-way trips"...)

28 posted on 10/05/2012 8:46:39 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: KarlInOhio

They look like gremlins from the 1984 movie!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087363/


29 posted on 10/05/2012 8:48:48 PM PDT by ConjunctionJunction
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To: KarlInOhio

They look scary


30 posted on 10/05/2012 8:54:51 PM PDT by al baby (“If Barack Obama has a Harvard law degree, he didn’t earn that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
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To: RobertClark
it's called Facebook...
31 posted on 10/05/2012 10:11:39 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: RobertClark

Wonder if Bruno can tell which finger I’m holding up right now.


32 posted on 10/05/2012 10:20:10 PM PDT by Newton (All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The French were horrified by what had happened in Spain from 1936-1939 with Stalin’s support, and were terrified of Communism. They wanted neutrality in WWII (to the point where they killed American troops - allied with Stalin - landing in French North Africa in 1942), and law & order in the meantime - which they got. Unlike Spain, they didn’t have 7,000+ priests killed, their churches burned to the ground, and their landowners and business owners massacred.

People today have no idea how tumultuous Europe was in the years leading up to WWII, with Communists trying to overthrow most governments and reactionaries fighting to suppress them; Americans learn about it through the prism of our experiences alone. Europe was filled with evil people who just wanted to kill others; it was filled with desperate people watching their way of life being destroyed.


33 posted on 10/06/2012 3:36:29 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

Correction: Europe WASN’T filled with evil people who just wanted to kill others


34 posted on 10/06/2012 3:37:18 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: SaraJohnson

I’m sorry, your Majesty, SaraJohnson....but your hubris is showing.


35 posted on 10/06/2012 5:43:02 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: Travis McGee; ASA Vet; BIGLOOK

What is amazing is how many Americans volunteer private data on Face Book, other social nets and filling out surveys asking personal info to get a discount or to be nice.

One of my favorite tv program is Person of Interest. In one of the tv stories, the guy who invented the “machine” which monitors all that we do, say on phones or on the internet dropped a bomb that many of us knew.

He said at first getting the personal data on people was hard to do until the Social Nets came out. Then people haven’t stopped giving private data to be out in the open.

I went on face book due to a friend who wrote her first book, a couple of friends making wine and some fishing buddies. I dropped out after about a week due to people I barely knew or didn’t want to know, who wanted to be friends.

A younger relative and his wife, both with advanced degrees in computer stuff about 5 years ago started warning everyone they knew not to fill in personal data to get a Safeway card and other so call benefit cards. Their concern was simple. People were filling in info that data miners could extract. Their examples were clear and simple. Most of us have one mother with one maiden name, one best friend in highschool, one fav color. If you fill in that data to get a so called benefit, data miners can get that data.

If I fill in anything, my Mother’s maiden name was/is Claus. I was born 12/25/1900. My best friend was Rasputin, and my favorite color is Puce. The first country, I visited was America.


36 posted on 10/06/2012 8:34:16 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (We are the 53%, who pay taxes and keep this country going inspite of the 47% rat moochers!)
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To: Grampa Dave

I just use FB as a “fan page” for selling books. I don’t put any personal data on it beyond my region being north FL.

One of my goals with writing “What I saw at the coup” was to put the danger of Social Network Analysis being used as a purge tool out into the open. The KGB, Gestapo, Stasi etc never had such dangerous tools. They had to purge tens of thousands to be sure of getting a few enemies.

SNA will allow future tyrants to dial the purges down to an acceptable and almost unnoticable level. Even the selective use of deniable means such as “Breitbart’s Syndrome” could be an option.


37 posted on 10/06/2012 8:42:09 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

You and I remember how a few Freepers like us after 9/11 pulled the covers aside to reveal how the Islamos had training camps by Fresno, in Oregon and in the Virgina/DC area.

We did that with our limited computers and search platforms.

One can only imagine Data Mining the SNA’s with powerful computers and search programs.

Kudos to you for addressing this reality in your book and here.


38 posted on 10/06/2012 10:08:16 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (We are the 53%, who pay taxes and keep this country going inspite of the 47% rat moochers!)
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To: Grampa Dave

“If I fill in anything, my Mother’s maiden name was/is Claus. I was born 12/25/1900....”

My zip code is 01776, patriotic as heck. It’s somewhere in Massachusetts, but whenever I am asked for my zip code, that’s what it is.


39 posted on 10/06/2012 11:06:01 AM PDT by DBrow
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To: Grampa Dave

Thanks. My next novel is set between Ireland and Morocco with a sea jihad theme. I will be hitting all of those notes very hard.


40 posted on 10/06/2012 1:20:51 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: RobertClark

And related;

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=27835

It seems they are drowning in a sea of information.
Let’s hope they drown in it...


41 posted on 10/07/2012 5:15:38 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (searching for something meaningful to say)
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