Doublespeak 101: How your Government Lies to you
Sneaky: sneak·y/ˈsnēkē/; Adjective: Furtive; sly: “sneaky, underhanded tactics”. See, US Government.
All kidding aside, there is always a good reason for the people of the United States, especially her registered voting public, to know exactly what it is you are voting for. Take for example the following bill introduced to the House of Representatives back on May 25, 2011:
H.R. 1981: Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011
Seems innocent enough right? We all want to protect our children from the perverse nature of sexual predators, regardless of intent. I’ll be honest and state right here that looking at the bill in the manner it was presented to me, had me thinking this isn’t a bad thing and caught me off guard. Only later, researching the bill, do we see the true nature and the full extent that our government is willing to go, just to invade our privacy.
To be fair and to give credit to the folks that wrote and presented the bill in it’s true form, H.R. 1981 was originally about protecting children. Sadly, like most things our government gets it’s hands on, it’s been twisted from it’s intent and seeks to invade the privacy of every American who browses the internet from any device, any where, any time. The Patriot Act was just one stepping stone and this is yet another avenue to dig deeper into our personal lives.
I won’t bore you with all the gory details and let you read the bill for yourself, as you should, and not take mine or any one else’s word for gospel truth. I will however, skip to the most intriguing part of the bill in order to save you some time:
SEC. 4. RETENTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SERVICE PROVIDERS.
(a) In General- Section 2703 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘(h) Retention of Certain Records- A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least 18 months the temporarily assigned network addresses the service assigns to each account, unless that address is transmitted by radio communication (as defined in section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934).’.
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that records retained pursuant to section 2703(h) of title 18, United States Code, should be stored securely to protect customer privacy and prevent against breaches of the records.
What does this mean exactly? Well my fellow American’s, it means that each and every one of us will be treated as a criminal. Guilty until proven innocent. An invasion of our right to privacy. For those of you who failed your US Government classes, that’s the 4th amendment to the Bill of Rights.
The bill will mandate that any provider of electronic communication or remote computing service (your internet provider) to retain at least 18 months of log files on each and every leased computer IP address assigned to it’s customers accounts. Your computer IP address is the unique number assigned to your computer from the moment it gets internet access from your provider, be it home PC, Mobile Device, internet enabled vehicles and so on. Anything you search for, research, post on a message board or share about your life on a social network, is now 100% available to the US Government, at all times, for a period of time equal to 18 months.
Imagine having all your dirty laundry from that nasty divorce your going through, instantly available to your estranged spouse’s attorney. Those pics you shared with your friends on your last drunken night of debauchery before the wedding, are now available online for the right person. Your private medical logs, discussions with your doctor, or labs that are now easily available to you online, have just become open reading for the United States Government.
Am I exaggerating? Possibly to small degree, but consider this; nothing online is safe no matter how well you think you are protected. The US Government or any local municipal authority only needs “suspicion” of child exploitation to go snooping through your private stuff. Have nothing to hide? Neither do I, but I still don’t want anyone to have access to my personal info without a damn good reason, and while you think that this is just the extent of the bill’s problems, I haven’t even started on hackers or other unscrupulous individuals looking to find “info” on you or a member of your family, especially if that info is related to one of your kids.
The very bill that was originally trying to protect our children, will become a tool to use against them. If you think for a second that this law will protect you and your kids, think more outside the box. If passed, this bill would hand deliver access to all our personal information, packaged nicely in gift wrap and ribbons of 18 months worth of data, to those who have the knowledge, tools and means of finding it. The Government is the least of our worries folks. Just ask Sony
, Bank of America
, and a plethora of other well know institutions, how having their vulnerabilities shared to the world really feels. Then stop to ask yourself if you are prepared to share your own.
If you, like myself, are not yet ready to give out access to your own or your loved ones personal lives, visit a small group called Electronic Frontier Foundation
to get more info. They’ll even help you write to your favorite Representative and count you among the many who have already taken action to stop this bill from seeing the light of day.