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When East Germany fell apart, one of the first things people there did was to storm the buildings that housed the much hated Stasi (Ministry for State Security), the ministry that was in charge of spying on their own population. How important is privacy to you?

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Last Post by Leigh3
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  • @ddanbe - let's take a hypothetical. You frequent an adult book store, or perhaps a bar, or even make weekly visits to a psychiatrist/therapist. Every entrance/exit to these establishments is captured on camera. These activities are all perfectly legal but do you want a record of these visits kept? For … Read More

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    > Well, there is a record of all the YouTube videos you ever watched, all the emails you send, all the phone calls you made. Wonder who pays for storage and retrieval? Not sure where you are, but there are laws here limiting (and in other cases forcing) what can … Read More

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    > There's definately going to be mis-use here and there. But that doesn't justify the need for so much privacy. if anything, it does... There's no good reason for wanting to control and monitor everything that everyone does at any momemt, except the desire to control people, restrict their freedoms. Read More

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    Laws are just a bunch of words left open to the interpretation of hired experts. After all, torture is against the law, yet it was conveniently interpreted by some hired lawyer to be okay in special circumstances. Read More

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Of course privacy is important.Certainly in certain places in my home. But when I go out I'm in public, what can be private about someone taking my picture? They may further note in their notebooks, that I'm at the market on that hour and that day, if that so pleases them, my address etc. I've got nothing to hide.

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@ddanbe - let's take a hypothetical. You frequent an adult book store, or perhaps a bar, or even make weekly visits to a psychiatrist/therapist. Every entrance/exit to these establishments is captured on camera. These activities are all perfectly legal but do you want a record of these visits kept? For the time being the images are anonymous unless someone actually reviews the video but what about when face recognition becomes universally used in conjunction with your drivers licence photos. Now, instead of nameless comings and goings the computer can automatically log every entrance/exit. At some point there will be a record of every step you take. There's a big difference between "someone might see me" and "there's a permanent record and eventually someone will see this".

It's a funny thing about the people who always tell us "if you haven't done anything wrong then you shouldn't mind...". These people whould be the first to object should we start snooping in their private affairs.

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seriously privacy isn't really that important if your not a crook.

I mean the government may have hours of video of you cheating on your wife,but who cares. They won't tell on you. You will get away with it because its not against the law.

But if your planning a bombing, they would stop you dead on your tracks.

So people should take it less seriously, if they aren't doing illegal stuff.

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That's indeed what I meant.
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Privacy is important but can we really stop people from spying on us? Lets use social media as an example, more specifically facebook. How many programs are out on te internet that allows people to hack accounts and to spy on people. Thats just one social media site. What about Youtube? I willing to bet my bottom dollar that there are Youtube videos on how to hack and to spy.

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Well, there is a record of all the YouTube videos you ever watched, all the emails you send, all the phone calls you made. Wonder who pays for storage and retrieval?

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seriously privacy isn't really that important if your not a crook.

Cheating on your wife does not make you a crook. Neither does being treated for herpes, aids or chronic depression. How many of these things would you like made ppublic?

the government may have hours of video of you cheating on your wife,but who cares

There are many instances of government information being used for purposes other than intended. What about an employee who has access to proof that you are cheating on your wife and decides to use that for financial gain? For every Edward Snowdon there may be hundreds of others who wouldn't mind supplementing their government salary. And let's not forget that larger and larger portions of intelligence gathering are being outsouurced to private companies that are more concerned with profit than the security of the information they are hosting.

But if your planning a bombing, they would stop you dead on your tracks.

Seen the recent reports of government agents easily getting prohibited weapons through the crackerjack airport security? How about the reports that show that most of the terrorist plots foiled by the FBI were actually cases of entrapment? How many terrorist plots have actually been foiled due to government spying on its own citizens?

Lets use social media as an example

I discount social media because the information that is posted there is deliberately shared. I have no cocern for the privacy rights of people who, after all the publicity, are still too stupid to realize that nothing on the internet is private. That includes those people who had nude photos hacked from their phoones.

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@Reverend Jim
I wont let anyone snooping in my private affairs at home.
And no, you may search my computer, you wont find anything of interest, unless you happend to like computer programming, electronics and math.
But whatever I do in public, if someone likes to record it,film it, whatever please do. I don't give one single damn.
IMHO there exsists too much paranoia about viruses, passwords and privacy etc.
It is the big compagnies who are affraid(would they do something illigal?), not the simple housefather who walks into an "adult shop" now and then.

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im sorta getting your point now Reverend Jim. There's definately going to be mis-use here and there. But that doesn't justify the need for so much privacy.

Because like i said, these things are done large scale and at random. Id relate it with a police road checkpoint. The fact that they waste the precious time of some people who are good citizens doesn't justify them taking it away totally because they still get bad guys.

I feel its top execs of large companies that need to worry the most about it and funny enough, i don't think they are the ones spear-heading the privacy movement.

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It is the big compagnies who are affraid

Afraid? I don't think so. The big American Banks got royally caught blatantly breaking the law. How many execs went to jail or were even prosecuted? How many "famous" people go to jail for doing things that would land the rest of us behind bars? The rich (and/or famous) do not fear the light of day. They already have a get out of jail free card and seem to revel in their immunity from prosecution. It's the rest of us that have to be afraid.

that doesn't justify the need for so much privacy.

I'm not looking at it so much as a need as a right. Saying "how much do you need" puts the onus on the individual to constantly justify what is a basic right. If you look at the world like that then why not just do away with the idea of a search warrant? Instead, I'll just go to court every time I think of something I want to keep private.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Well, there is a record of all the YouTube videos you ever watched, all the emails you send, all the phone calls you made. Wonder who pays for storage and retrieval?

Not sure where you are, but there are laws here limiting (and in other cases forcing) what can be stored for how long and who has access to that data.
For example phone calls MUST be stored for 5 years for tax and billing purposes (and may not be used for anything else) , but only the numbers involved, duration, and in case of cellphones the cell tower(s) handling the call.
Anything else about them may not be stored unless with a court order (so no phone taps, the data volume would be prohibitive anyway for your telco to store).

Sure web servers record every incoming request, but those logs are usually thrown away automatically after a short period to prevent disks from getting too full of fluff, unless there's an attack on the network in which case they may be kept as evidence in an investigation.

Etc. etc. etc.

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tobyITguy:

But if your planning a bombing, they would stop you dead on your tracks.

how exactly are they to know you are planning a bombing? "ooo... that guy goes to radio shaq waaay too often, must be buying equipment to build bombs" ?

Well, I hope for you you don't have a brother that manages a radio shaq.

Having your face on a video doesn't prove anything in these cases. Saying that "privacy is not important if you're not a crook" is non-sense.

If you and the misses get it on, do you close the doors, or do you invite the entire town to watch?

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Lol, well there's just never gonna be an a desicion accepted by everyone.

Nice having this convo with you guys.

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There's definately going to be mis-use here and there. But that doesn't justify the need for so much privacy.

if anything, it does...
There's no good reason for wanting to control and monitor everything that everyone does at any momemt, except the desire to control people, restrict their freedoms.

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What I find amazing is that as we find our privacy rights being stripped by governments who have decided we shouldn't have any, we have to rely on organizations like Wikileaks to keep us informed as to what those governments are doing. A case in point is the recent revellations regarding the TPP.

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"Is Privacy Important?"

Yes, it is.

I think we have the right to privacy, and to be anonymous, and the onus is not on individuals to explain why. It is one of our basic rights and government has no business usurping this right.

Philip Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, gave a good example. He asked, what if government passed a law that required people to mail their letters on postcards instead of sealed envelopes. That way, postal workers and government agents could read your letters easily. After all, if you are a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, there is no harm done.

But that is not the point. The government has no reason to be there in the first place.

It is one thing to post nonsense on social media sites.
It is another matter entirely when government gets into the act and writes laws taking away peoples' rights to go about their business without having Big Brother constantly looking over their shoulder. There has been too much of that already.

Like Philip Zimmermann also said, it is poor civic hygiene to enhance any infrastructure that strengthens the hand of a police state.

I must be part of a different generation, because I really dislike the direction the world is going (bigger, more invasive, militaristic government). I simply don't see the same resistance among younger people.

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In light of the recent hacking of the very private information of 4 million federal government workers in the US, I have the feeling that these data were not even encrypted.

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In light of the recent hacking of the very private information of 4 million federal government workers in the US, I have the feeling that these data were not even encrypted.

or more likely it was an inside job...

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From what I've read on the web, Australia is one of about 2 countries using smart chips like visa pay wave causing criminal problems which were descovered in trials within the uk. To this day the uk is phasing them out while australia is phasing them even thoe these new debit/credit cards can broadcast your pin number and other personal information from a range of 3 inches to 4 yards depending on age of card and generosity of supplier.

So in conclusion some banks in Australia seem to not value the privacy protection of their customers in echange of currency and more customers.

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Not sure why in the USA medical records always have to contain ones social security number. That includes hospitals, doctors offices, dentists and optometrists. On top of all this, these folks have the worst security records. The ideal theft of identity.

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Not sure why in the USA medical records always have to contain ones social security number.

no doubt a standard form that's also used for government funded healthcare (medicare, medicaid) which is tracked by SSN.
And of course under Obamacare that gets expanded massively.

It's not quite the same here, everything needs to include your insurance number which is linked to our equivalent of the US SSN by the insurance provider.

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There are many arguments on both sides of this issue, but you have forgotten something. In the U.S., The Constitution is an enumeration of the powers loaned to the Government by the people and exercise of powers beyond those is tyranny. The Constitution does not authorize the Government to spy on the people and so Government collecting data on people, for the most part, are acts of tyranny.

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So how do you give government the ability to change laws while at the same time restricting them from changing laws? We had a recent case here in Canada where the RCMP was found to have broken the law by destroying records (long gun registry) while an independent appeal was in process. The government's reaction was to retroactively change the law so that it, effectively, never existed to be broken. It's a horrible precedent but you can't remove the governments ability to pass laws and still have an effective government.

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In the U.S. principles of government are defined in the Declaration of Independance. It says hat Man has unalienable rights - which means that they are not something that we have and can be taken away, but are what we are - we are our rights. And one of those rights is to extract a remedy from others when they impinge our rights. We can try to do that as individuals, or collectively - which is then called Government. Proper Government has no powers that an individual does not have simply because Government gets it's powers from the collective individuals. So Government can can create or write any law it wants as long as it does not exceed the powers given it by the people. In the U.S., The Constitution is the enumeration of those powers and a proper law stays within the bounds of the constitution. Any law or enforcement that exceeds the limits of the Constitution is "unlawful" and tyranny, and therefore treason. While the US Constitution only applies to the U.S., the precepts taught in the Declaration of Independance apply to all.
So having said that, government is not capable of taking away our rights, they are unalienable. What government does is to extort us into not exercising our rights, or extort us into not demanding our remedy when our rights are violated. World tyranny would be eliminated quite quickly if we all just told our government that tyranny is just not acceptable any more - a simple minority would do it.

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Laws are just a bunch of words left open to the interpretation of hired experts. After all, torture is against the law, yet it was conveniently interpreted by some hired lawyer to be okay in special circumstances.

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In the U.S. principles of government are defined in the Declaration of Independance.

I don't believe this is the case. It does mention "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" but the principles of government are not mentioned. It does contain a long list of grievances leading to the declaration but any mention of a right to privacy is totally absent.

Proper Government has no powers that an individual does not have simply because Government gets it's powers from the collective individuals.

Are you saying that an individual has the power to levy taxes and conscript an army? If not then I suppose you are saying that your government is not proper because it has the power to do both.

The Constitution is the enumeration of those powers and a proper law stays within the bounds of the constitution.

But your government has the power to amend the constitution.

Any law or enforcement that exceeds the limits of the Constitution is "unlawful" and tyranny, and therefore treason.

First of all, in American law, treason is defined as follows:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

And as I mentioned earlier, your government can amend the constitution as it sees fit so that if the action is allowed under the amendment it is therefore not illegal.

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The most fundamental principle of government is that individuals have unalienable rights which include the rights of life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The other principle of government is that when any government fails to protect those rights, we have the right to modify or replace that government.
These are both taught in the D of I.
As to levy taxes and conscript soldiers, a careful study of US law shows that government knows it does not have thows powers but extorts us into volentiering to pay taxes and join militaries.
The only legitimate tax is so you pay your share of the costs of extracting a remody from those who have violated your rights, and the cost of actually preventing violation of your rights.
The government does not have the power to amend the constitution, we are a constitutional democratic republic, it still requires a vote of the people.
From appearence, you are right, it does appear that the government can amend the constitution as they chose, but the truth is that those amendments did not actually meet the defined process to be a legitimate amendment, but through deception, the people believe they are valid and government maintains that through extortion, deception and force.
Yes, that is the formal definition of treason under the constitution, but the concept of treason clearly existed before the constitution. Our government is clearly waging war against our unalienable rights, and that IS treason.
By the way, our Supreme Court has ruled more than 100 times (I've read 40 of them) that traveling in a car on public roadways is an unalienable right not a privilege that requires a license. Notice that I didn't say Drive a Vehicle because drive and vehicle have specific legal definitions different from common use definitions. Government has tricked us into volentiering to be licensed through deception. The federal government is not alone in these deceptions, they occur in state, county and city governments as well.

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you can restrict what laws can be passed and install processes of judicial review to ensure that laws aren't passed that violate human rights.
In the case you mention for example, it should have been impossible to pass a law that takes effect in the past, or pass a law that makes past actions a criminal offense.
People should never be held responsible for violating laws that didn't exist at the time they performed the action that's now illegal.

If the process as you describe in Canada is the norm, nobody could ever do anything as it might at some point in the future become illegal.
Say you're driving 50mph, and 10 years later the law gets changed to make the legal limit 35mph going back 30 years. Should you really get 10 years worth of speeding tickets?

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I agree that changing the law retroactively is a dangerous idea. Certainly making something illegal retroactively is something that should never be allowed. As for making something legal retroactively, I am torn. On the one hand, it allows governments to get away with just about any action. On the other hand, it allows the righting of horrible wrongs. For example, making possession of drugs for personal use legal retroactively would result in the freeing of countless numbers of people who would never have been imprisoned. However, that could also be handled non-retroactively by simply pardoning them all after the fact and expunging their records.

@dlhale - One of your "greats" once said something to the effect that those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither. I agree to a point but I also believe that rights should have reasonable limits. The "yelling fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire" comes to mind. Requiring that motor vehicle drivers are properly trained and licensed is also a reasonable restriction. Likewise with the regulation of firearms. When your pursuit of happiness conflicts with the public well-being then some restrictions are reasonable and necessary. Unfortunately, congress has decided to use that as justification for all sorts of hanky-panky. On one hand, more than 45,000 people in the US died last year from lack of affordable health care. On the other hand, billions of dollars have been spent on a massive surveillance system that the FBI recently admitted has not stopped one terrorist plot. In fact, there are cases of people who have been put in prison because they were coerced to commit the very acts that the FBI is supposed to prevent.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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