Thursday, June 13, 2013
If the civil society is to remain intact, kiddies, the key is assimilation. That means secure borders and specific criteria that ensures legal immigrants buy into the original idea of the Founding: the self-evident truth we are all born with "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The secure borders are to keep out those who are enemies of the originalist ideal. (e.g. terrorists). The specific criteria for assimilating to the originalist ideal are for keeping the idea alive for those who benefit from it, so they can pass it on to the next generation.
Posted by LibertyAtStake at 9:19 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
First, let's dispense with one necessary opinion statement. Edward Snowden has committed crimes and just might be a Chinese agent. As each day passes with him living under Chinese forebearance and implied protection, our God-given capacity for reason and deduction lead us closer toward concluding the latter.
Now on to the great constitutional debate his actions as an actor on the human stage have sparked.
At a macro level, the discipline known as "data mining" has two basic architectural components. There are the analytical capabilities, and the databases that are made available to those capabilities. This division of computational labor is where the much ballyhooed tension between "security" in the fight against Mohammed's Murder Monkey Cult From Hell and the Fourth Amendment lies, IMHO.
The most advanced analytical capabilities are useless if not connected to useful data ("garbage in, garbage out"). The most comprehensive databases are nothing but simmering potential, lacking serviceable analytical capabilities. Such databases can in fact be simmering pots of potential abuse for any tyrant in control of serviceable analytical capabilities.
This is why the singular aspect of both the PRISM program and the phone records warrant Judge Roger Vinson gave to BHO and His Gang of Corrupt Progressives I find most vexing is: both programs apparently seek to collect the Database of Everything without prior cause. It is, in fact, a lazy approach to using the available technology to strike an appropriate balance between security and liberty.
Yeah, sure, an administration I don't trust can parade an endless conga line of insider toadies before the media's cameras to assure me the Database of Everything is only accessed when legal and ethical. Somehow, something inside of me cannot believe this when it's already in the open they have used the IRS database to unethically and illegally harass political opponents.
So, I say to my government and to its "intelligence community" - don't be lazy. Put in the effort necessary to do your job protecting the American people the way the Founders intended you to do it. Stop collecting the Database of Everything just to make your job easier, because you are simultaneously creating Big Brother's infrastructure right before our very eyes. What you are doing today in fact only needs one more ingredient for Orwell's vision to be completed - the emergence of Big Brother himself. Assure us you will be disciplined enough to get specific warrants on specific targets first, then apply your impressive data collection capabilities, then apply your impressive analytical capabilities, on a case by case basis. In that order every time. And the memo to Congress is this: fix the Patriot Act so the FISA court cannot approve anymore Databases of Everything.
"Because Less Gub'ment Means More Liberty"
Update 1:40 pm
fyi - Databases of Everything can also be huge national security liabilities in the age of cyber warfare, especially if adversaries are able to turn system administrators into agents. Just a little thing for the "security at any price" crowd to think about.
Based on today's available information I'm with this guy. Prism is still basically a policy problem (in the way I stated above), not yet an Obama abuse scandal in and of itself (so far and not in the way the IRS scandal is), and Snowden is likely just a cyber space spy. And, yeah, Glenn Beck crosses over into pure paranoia a lot, too.
Posted by LibertyAtStake at 10:51 AM