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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Privacy vs. Security -- HW Style

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Author Topic: Privacy vs. Security -- HW Style
moodi
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This might be a dilapidated topic for many, but the discussion points would help me greatly in building my case for a class homework. If you would like to help, please list your points (with moderate explanation) as to why do you agree or disagree with the proposed bill.

quote:

In 2004, the General Accounting Office published a report that listed 122 different federal government data mining programs using personal information of US citizens.

The list excluded classified programs such as the recent NSA wiretapping disclosure. Today the list has swelled to 199 known data mining activities in 52 different agencies. Over the past several years, privacy advocates have continued to warn of such programs, but Congressional oversight was largely ignored.

In January of 2007, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin introduced the Federal Data Mining Reporting Act, a proposal that would require federal agencies to regularly inform Congress about their use of data mining “to discover predictive or anomalous patterns indicating criminal or terrorist activity - the types of data analysis that raise the most serious privacy concerns.” If passed, the statute would require federal agencies to reveal their development of data mining programs and require them to disclose how effective the program has been in predicting terrorist acts.

Proponents of the bill maintain that the program would help to ensure a system of safeguards against the eroding privacy of US citizens. Likewise, supporters argue that the disclosure would lead to an assurance that such programs lend at least some additional security to the public. On the other hand, opponents argue that disclosing such programs would threaten national security. Disclosing details of the data mining practices could provide potential terrorists with important information on how to escape
detection.

The bill has failed to pass in previous Congress but is quickly gaining momentum with the new Democrats. Should an appropriate system of checks and balances be instated? Is it in the public’s best interest or is national security paramount? What information should be allowable for collection?


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martel
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Couldn't they make the reports to Congress behind closed doors to, say, the Intelligence Committee?

I see no logical grounds to oppose the bill...but I'm sure someone will find some.

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Redskullvw
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Will it prevent a government employee from manually comparing disperate computer files and use his own intuition to find a pattern without actually mining a database?

Much ado about nothing, since the law offers nothing in terms of how data can be used by federal employees or who gets to initiate, control, and disburse such content.

Cant they just make a report behind closed doors as martel said, instead of setting up a new office of data mining oversight?

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moodi
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Redskullvw and Martel,

I agree with your suggestion. But beyond that, do you agree with your private information getting looked at and studied. I understand that private companies do some of that with some of our private data, but federal programs go way too far into ALL of it.

Wouldn't it bother you if someone (a federal agent who you don't know, but he might know you) went through every aspect of your life?

How about the security of the database that will host this giant task? Hearing of all the Internet security breaches within federal and local governments doesn't help this cause.

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TommySama
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Sounds like this bill would Piss Off Jack Bauer. I wouldn't advise doing that.
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