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Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

US ranks near bottom in individual privacy

January 7, 2008

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Individual privacy is under threat around the world as governments continue introducing surveillance and information-gathering measures, according to an international rights group.

Although privacy was improving in the former communist states of eastern Europe, it is worsening across Western Europe, the report said. Concerns about terrorism, immigration and border security were driving the spread of identity and fingerprinting systems, according to the report.

Greece, Romania and Canada had the best records of 47 countries Privacy International surveyed.

Malaysia, Russia and China ranked worst, but Great Britain and the United States also fell into the lowest-performing group of "endemic surveillance societies."

The survey considered such factors as legal protections, enforcement, data sharing, the use of biometrics and prevalence of closed-circuit cameras.

Comments

DirtyLinen 6 years, 3 months ago

Ahh, the left wing-nuts are out in force today.

It would be nice if the story had a few more details. It says, for instance:

"The survey considered such factors as ... prevalence of closed-circuit cameras."

In fact, the study put the US in the worst ranking ("extensive surveillence, leading in bad practice") in the "workplace monitoring" and the "visual surveillence" categories. That includes privately owned cameras, like the ones we see in almost every building we walk into. Wouldn't it make sense for a country with such a high level of affluence and a high rate of crime to have more security cameras in their businesses? All you liberals who own businesses with security cameras helped with this ranking.

We also dropped from the middle group in 2006 to the lowest group in 2007 in the "Identity Cards and Biometrics" category. The criteria for that category are as follows:

  • Is there a national identity card, and does it involve biometrics?
  • Is biometrics widespread? Are they implemented in privacy protecting ways or in surveillance-enhancing ways, e.g. Central databases?
  • Is there adequate debate about the nature of biometrics or is there a blind faith in the technology and an imperative based on international obligations?

Anyone get issued that new national ID card including biometrics within the last year? Must have missed mine.

One of the factors contributing to a low score in the "Government Access to Data" category (where we were only in the second lowest group) is "What powers do various agencies have to gain access to files, e.g. Tax inspectors." So I guess, to get a high score from Privacy International, tax collecting agencies can't have access to people's financial information.

Wonder why the news agencies didn't include this part of the report:

"Important note" "This study and the accompanying ranking chart measure the extent of surveillance and privacy. They do not intend to comprehensively reflect the state of democracy or the full extent of legal or parliamentary health or dysfunction in these countries (though the two conditions are frequently linked). The aim of this study is to present an assessment of the extent of information disclosure, surveillance, data exploitation and the general state of information privacy."

Now, keeping things in perspective ... all the categories are supposed to be ranked on a five-point scale. In the entire table,I was unable to find a single "5" (the best score) for any of the 48 countries in any of the 14 categories. And only one country scored above a "3" (out of 5) overall, Greece, in the "3.1 to 3.5" rank. The majority of the countries on their list are below a 2.5 out of 5.

Sorry all you Bush-bashers who rushed in, but the problems pointed out by Prviacy International are neither new or the fault of the current administration. Some of them don't even qualify as problems.

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nekansan 6 years, 3 months ago

Quality journalism here! What the heck is the source of this story and the statistics within it? Who is the group? Are they even credible? How was the data collected and tabulated?

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Finding_Uranus 6 years, 3 months ago

All I ask is when I'm taking a nice healthy dump, leave me alone. After that, ask me anything you want. Also, if decide to pleasure myself, wait until I'm done then I'm all ears. I'll wash up and answer your questions.

Some people are too worried about all this nonsense....you are more likely to win the lottery than be picked up by the man.

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fu7il3 6 years, 3 months ago

If big brother uses google, we are all in trouble. Maybe we can get him to use ask.com. Then we would be safe.

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George_Braziller 6 years, 3 months ago

I said "street view" not "satellite."

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Newell_Post 6 years, 3 months ago

George:

I happen to be in San Francisco right now working on a consulting project. I tried what you suggested. I can't even discern the make and model of vehicles let alone license numbers. But I can tell with absolute certainty that the images displayed were flown on February 27, 2004 (almost 4 years ago). Big brother may be watching, but he's getting old news if he's going to Google Maps!

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Since BUSHCO dropped the ball on 9/11/01 and invaded Iraq american civil liberties have been attacked by our own president... our own in house terrorist.

Bushco War is a waste of money and lives. It has nothing to do with democracy. Since Bush dropped the ball on 9/11/01 and again by invading Iraq Al Qaeda has become more substantial than ever at it's home base in Pakistan so the presidental candidates say. Bin Laden more glorified than ever in Pakistan.

Bring the troops home and let the mideast deal with al Qaeda if after all they support the group. Bush gave Pakistan $11 billion to fight Al Qaeda:.instead Al Qaeda has somehow become stronger. Is the president a fool?

All of this loss of civil liberties over countries that did not and could not attack the USA. The USA imposed "no fly zone" was preventing any type of attack from the mideast.

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George_Braziller 6 years, 3 months ago

For something that is fascinating and frightening at the same time go to Google, choose "Maps" and "Street View" to get an idea of how much surveilance is already in place. Just about every street in San Francisco is covered by a camera and the images are so clear you can zoom in and read license plate numbers.

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Newell_Post 6 years, 3 months ago

There is no "by line" or credited source on this article. Maybe the author is worried about being identified and tracked. Maybe he is just worried that it criticizes the current Theopublicon regime. DS, is that you?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 3 months ago

"....alleged left-wing conspiracies." salad

You guys are making this fun and play along and that's great.....but what conspiracies? Apparently you don't follow Al Gore and legislation ---'taint no conspiracy theory brothers and sisters.

Logan5, I would like to suggest at least we try some serious pyschotropics for me....lobotomy too radical, at this point. Some good drugs could carry me thru to when we get our R congress and R prez in 10 months....lobotomy too permanent. If we go full-boat Dem in 10 months, we can discuss the lobotomy---let's table that for now.

You guys are stellar!

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BrianR 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow, RT, that 07:33 post just makes you appear....undermedicated.

Try coffee.

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Logan5 6 years, 3 months ago

Why mess around. The patient has gone critical. Let's schedule an immediate frontal lobotomy followed up by an agressive regimen of electro-shock therapy.

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salad 6 years, 3 months ago

"Ya'll W haters will lose your homes and cars and eveything else due to green freaks and Al Gore's nonsense long before guys in big black cars and dark sunglasses come scoop you up"

Session notes: 1/7/08 08:31 hours: Patient continues to demonstrate dilusional fantasies about alleged left-wing conspiracies. Recommend increase in doseage of Lithium and possibly adding Prozac. Patient should receive constant adult supervision. Ask nurse to monitor bulging vein on patients forehead.

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scenebooster 6 years, 3 months ago

"So take a hikemove to Iran or N. Korea if you have a problem."

The catch phrase of the ignorant and scared. It's un-American to tell Americans to stop thinking.

If anyone should relocate, it's you R-t.

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logrithmic 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree on Paul. He has raised the issue in his debates and performance on national TV. It really is a matter of speaking truth to power.

I don't believe Paul will be the RepublicKLAN nominee, but if he runs as a Libertarian or independent, he will most assuredly receive my vote.

It's not that I agree with everything Paul stands for, but I do agree with 85%. And with the average RepubLICKlan, I agree about 5%, and with the average Democrap, I agree about 50%. 85% vs, 5% vs, 50%. Not a hard choice there.

Paul on Meet the Press two weeks ago stating his views on the creeping invasion of our privacy and the insidious growth of domestic fascism (which he calls corporatism):

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 3 months ago

Ya'll W haters will lose your homes and cars and eveything else due to green freaks and Al Gore's nonsense long before guys in big black cars and dark sunglasses come scoop you up. Check into reality for a change.

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smitty 6 years, 3 months ago

This break down is privacy started with the drug war not the Bush war. The bushboy war excellerated what was already in place.

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Reality_Check 6 years, 3 months ago

If you care about freedom, you'll send the Ron Paul campaign $100. He's the only one talking about the overreaching Patriot Act. He's the only one talking about living within our means and within the limits of our constitutions. No, he won't get elected, but his message is starting to get heard, and it's scaring the bejesus out of the Republican Machine.

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salad 6 years, 3 months ago

"So take a hikemove to Iran or N. Korea if you have a problem."

Ah yes, the eternal cry of the right wing ignoramous. Unfortunately, you can't just "move" somewhere else. You can't even move to Canada if you want. These countries have imigration laws just like we do. I'd prefer to make this country a better place to live, since I pretty much can't leave. R_T, on the other hand is supposed to leave: I thought you were gonna join up and fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight em here? What gives? Why don't you support dear leaders mission? Why don't you go help support the troops?

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 3 months ago

I velly, velly sneaky roundeye!

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Marion Lynn 6 years, 3 months ago

Those concerned with privacy rights could well start with this little gizmo which prevents all those nasty little traffic cameras from photographing your licence plate:

http://www.loover.com/

How easy it is to spy on anyone:

http://www.thespystore.com/

Counter-surveillance equipment for the consumer:

http://www.uspystore.com/store/index.asp?department_id=52

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freeordie 6 years, 3 months ago

"Patriot Act." That always cracks me up.

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logrithmic 6 years, 3 months ago

While they are allowed under the Patriot Act, I predict more widespread use of house to house searches without warrants. And today, our airports are in many ways dragnets for the government to round up undesirables or political dissidents. I believe this dragnet mentality will be extended to the nation's highways, as law enforcement is asked to verify papers and check the contents of vehicles. All under the notion of providing Americans with "protection."

Unfortunately, many Americans believe they will not feel safe unless they literally have a police officer inside their house. This open invitation to Big Brother because "I've got nothing to hide" is pure folly. Information or behavior they would not share with family or neighbors would also be embarassing to them if they had to share it with the government. But it is this cavalier attitude that is making it all possible.

We are moving into a 1984 world. FBI biometric databases are being developed on every American citizen. A Real ID is being proposed that could contain an RF chip that would permit the government to know where you are at all times. We know the government is encouraging pet owners to put these chips inside their pets. Is this a possibility for future citizens too?

And the NSA plans to use its satellites to peer into our homes, using a technology that was developed to look into the missle sites and military installations of the Soviet Union. This is all being done without any Congressional oversight. Rightwing senators like our Senator Roberts advocate for this practice.

Get used to it folks. The government that serves us is slowly becoming our nationwide warden. And we are the ones that must accept the blame if we let it continue to happen.

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freeordie 6 years, 3 months ago

When I get scared enough to give up my freedom right stinker, I'll let you know. Sept. 1? What happened then? A@@. I am a FAAAAR right Bush hater. You aren't even close to my far rightness-while you're letting this dictatorship take away your privacy and the civil rights in this country and stick plasitc flags on your NASCAR I'm cleaning my guns. Fact: chicken sh#$ neocons think smarmy christian, spendthrift, fearmongering, big brother government is right wing. Go adjust the spotlight on your meaningless flag symbol while I worry about my freedom. A@@.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 3 months ago

That changed September 1, 2001, not when GWB took office.

The left-wing of the Defeat-O-Crat Party endlessly talks about this "change" ---whatever that is/will be, but this is certainly one big sign of change.

Get used to it---just like I'll get used to AlGoreaphobic induced skyrocketing energy/food/transportation/living costs.

I could care less what you nutty far-left Bush haters like or don't like and you feel the same about me I'm quite sure.

So take a hike---move to Iran or N. Korea if you have a problem.

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freeordie 6 years, 3 months ago

They had better get cameras inside our houses too, cause, terrorists could hide there you know.

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