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.