Monday, February 27, 2006

DHS implementing new surveillance program

ZDNet Government reporting on the inmates being their own good stewards in the asylum:

Plenty have serious privacy concerns about such a program, and some critics like the Electronic Frontier Foundation think it smells like TIA.

In 2002, news reports revealed that the Defense Department was working on Total Information Awareness, a project aimed at collecting and sifting vast amounts of personal and government data for clues to terrorism. An uproar caused Congress to cancel the TIA program a year later.

ADVISE "looks very much like TIA," Mr. Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes in an e-mail. "There's the same emphasis on broad collection and pattern analysis."

But Mr. Sand, the DHS official, emphasizes that privacy protection would be built-in. "Before a system leaves the department there's been a privacy review…. That's our focus."

You know, most folk, who are often taken aback by any opposition to methodologies put forth by "holy" government couched in the claim of fighting terrorism, almost always seem to miss the entire point of the matter, the focus of most principled opposition to start with. That is, why would level-headed folk with even a modicum of common sense even consider thinking that the same government agency of the same executive branch of government can be trusted to provide truly honest oversight over surveillance matters within itself? They wouldn't, and shouldn't, but we can always count on hearing the timeless tale that the Brave New World we now find ourselves living in requires it. Meanwhile, the broken record continues to play and, in this case of "privacy," it would play something akin to the following: "Why be so anti-government and extremist-minded? Don't you understand, we want to protect your privacy."

Substitute safety for privacy or whatever term(s) you want, but the oxymoron inbred within wouldn't be any less relevant.

Brazil going nuclear

From the New American:

The parallels between Brazil’s nuclear ambitions and Iran’s are numerous and striking. One critical strategic difference is found in the fact that if Marxist-led Brazil became a full-fledged member of the nuclear weapon club, its alliance with Beijing, its developing space program, and its proximity to the U.S. would make it a far greater potential threat than Iran could ever be. Yet, as Knight Ridder points out, “Brazil’s program hasn’t drawn the outcry that Iran’s nuclear plants have.”

While the world is scratching its collective head about Iran's nuclear ambitions, Brazil is about to put a nuclear plant online at Resende that will produce enriched uranium. The country's leader, Luis Ignacio “Lula” de Silva, is a Marxist and is friendly with neighboring Marxists such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and is also on mushy terms with the PRC.

It does make one wonder what makes Iran so dastardly to U.S. politicos about obtaining nukes as opposed to, say, Pakistan or India? I mean what is to prevent a future Pakistan president from chanting Allah Akbar! while he launches some missiles destined for either New Delhi or Tel Aviv? And in India, Hindus believe in reincarnation so I'm not so sure they can't become radicalized as well. What ever happened to mutually assured destruction or MAD?

New redneck in the Blogger trailer park

Well, this is my new blog and I'll offer up some of my opinions every now and then. It seems like many folk are now getting into the blogging routine, so I figured why should I remain astray. So, here I am.

I had an old blog of sorts up from Sept. 2004 to Sept. 2005 and of course it was a full-fledged website with Perl, PHP, MySQL capabilities and I really like those because you can exhibit so much more control over your data, pages, and programming and I probably spent more time programming and such than I did posting. So, naturally, I didn't receive many visitors.

Now, with this ordinary blog, I'll try to post more often. In the meantime, though, I'm mulling over whether to archive all of those past posts here from the previous blog, but I don't know yet.