Are We Entitled To Privacy?

When I hear someone state they are entitled to their privacy, I immediately agree that we have a right to privacy.  It is in the United States Constitution under the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

There are other general rights to privacy as defined in the Constitution such as the liberty clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. People have the right to be left alone. Unless, of course, they are in violation of the law and engaged in criminal activity.  That protects us from government intrusion into our daily lives.  However, there has been an erosion of privacy rights as technology has grown.

In order to protect the nation from possible terror attacks, the Department of National Intelligence (DNI) has expanded surveillance into spying on this nation’s enemies, and sometimes, this nation’s people.  The NSA collects meta-data on communications between Americans and foreign contacts.  When asked if the NSA collects information on Americans, the director of DNI said before a Congressional hearing, “No.”  When pressed the director changed his answer to, “not intentionally.” So, which is it, we may never know.  There is just too much temptation for abuse by the government and not enough oversight to restrict spy agencies from spying on Americans.

What if you voluntarily give up your privacy?  This is the other side of the technology that is a double edged sword.  When you own a smart phone that has GPS, the government satellites can track your movements.  When you download shopping apps to your smart phone, the apps can tell when you are either near or in their store.  They can sent you advertisements and other notifications.  Social media apps like Facebook can notify you when your friends are nearby.  This is out of convenience for the person, but it also assumes the person has voluntarily given up their privacy for that convenience.  So, who else can see your movements?

Your shopping habits and internet browsing are recorded and shared by other corporations for advertising purposes.  Is that a violation of your privacy, or a the new medium of advertisements?  I remember an elderly gentleman learning how to use a computer asking why do websites have all these messages and popup windows.  He never really understood the difference between advertisements in print media and electronic media.  Print media is not animated and it is not directly targeting your buying habits.  Every time you make an electronic purchase, that marketing information creates a profile which corporations use to sell to you.  What will the future look like?

Everywhere you go, in airports, stores, theaters, elevators, and everywhere your attention can be attracted, an advertisement will popup.  This information that is gathered on your profile is greater than the information the government gathers on you.  The government doesn’t have the information technology to see your habits like commercial corporations can gather.  If the government was as good as commercial corporations are at gathering information, then they could have prevented terror attacks from happening.

For example, the Tsarnaev brothers, also known as the Boston Bombers, were regularly traveling to countries that were training radical islamic terrorists.  The government never established a profile on their activities.  Yet, their travel activities were not a secret.  This is also true with other radical islamic attacks on American soil, and elsewhere in the world.  With all the power behind the NSA meta gathering, there is no profiling to anticipate when the next terror attack will happen.  Therefore, what good is the technology that taxpayers are being asked to pay for if it isn’t doing the job it is intended to do?  What good is a plethora of intelligence agencies if they cannot track down terrorists and people leaking top secret information?  Are they so behind the technology curve they are effectively useless and inept?

In the movie clip I posted, “Minority Report”, the character is a ‘thought’ policeman that uses prediction of a crime that hasn’t been committed yet.  I’m not endorsing arresting people for their thoughts.  I am endorsing better profiling of potential terror activities.  The FBI director said they have investigations in all 50 States.  The President is tasked with the job of protecting the people and the country.  Yet, we have a judiciary that prevents the people charged with protecting us from doing their job out of political correctness.  How many people have to be put at risk, or die, because of political correctness?

In Hawai’i, an ambitious attorney general with political aspirations, sued the President of the United States from carrying out a lawful Executive Order to restrict travel to the United States from several countries where terrorists are known to travel.  This is judicial overreach and a violation of the Constitutional separation of the branches of power.  Activists judges and attorney general are Obama cronies and hard left anti-Americans.  Their reasoning is because what was said during the campaign trail, not what is in the Executive Order.  The Executive Order makes no mention of any religion.  It is malicious judicial overreach and unconstitutional.  Both the attorney general and judge should be admonished and impeached for violation their oath of office.  Non-citizens that are not in this country are not entitled to our Constitutional rights.  If they are in this country, legally, then they are entitled to the same due process afforded to all citizens.

We cannot have tyrants in black robes putting Americans lives at risk just because they disagree with the legal political ideology of the other party.  This has always been the modus operandi of the left when opposing constitutional legislation. They run to leftist liberal courts because they cannot accomplish constitutionally in the legislative and executive branches.  This is the equivalent of modern day thought police.  They will use their office to defend the terrorists privacy, over the rights and privacy of the American citizen.  It is pure leftist fascism.

 

 

 

 

Getting Your Money’s Worth

Democratic Rep. John Mizuno of Oahu introduced what amounts to an asinine bill requiring Internet Service Providers (ISP) to save for two years the Domain addresses and Internet Protocol addresses of “everyone” in the State of Hawai’i.  Creating a virtual dossier on every resident in the State that uses the internet.  In other words, the government tracking everywhere you go on the Internet.

Under the guise of “privacy protection”, H.B. 2288, this unnecessary regulation could lead to gross violations of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizures.  The bill does not contain any privacy protections to restrict what ISP providers can do with the information they gather.  They can sell the information to advertisers and the legislation doesn’t prevent law enforcement from getting a warrant before obtaining the data.  This is a clear violation of Fourth Amendment protections and privacy protections.

This isn’t the only attempt by law makers to place restrictions on the Internet.  Recent legislation in Congress to restrict freedom of speech was stopped after a huge public outcry.  The Legislation known as SOPA (Stop Online Pirating Act) was pulled after it was learned that the bill would amount to nothing more than internet censorship.  The bill was intended to stop copyright infringements and to protect Intellectual Property (IP) from being stolen, but the broadness of the legislation went beyond just protecting copyrighted material on the internet.  It went further to requiring ISP providers to monitor customer internet traffic.   Effectively spying on where ever you went on the internet.

The implications into heavy-handed government restrictions meant certain websites could be shutdown by just the suspicion, or accusation by anyone claiming internet piracy.  Just the suspicion of copyright infringement would require the ISP provider to use deep packet inspection to block web sites using IP (Internet Protocol) Blocking.  It would force the ISP providers to intercept and analyze customers’ Web traffic.  The question is, do we want the Web providers policing the internet?

That’s not to say there isn’t piracy on the internet.  Off Shore piracy by countries like China are openly stealing Intellectual Property such as Hollywood movies and Software programs.  I was in Malaysia recently and saw this first hand.  There are stores that sell copied software and movies onto CDROM’s and sold outright in large Malls and shopping centers.  When the police arrive at these stores, the pirate vendors, simply move the racks of pirated items out of view until the police leave.  Then it’s business as usual.  Most software vendors encrypt their products with an encoded key to prevent illegal pirating.

But from a larger point of view, why should broadly worded laws be enacted that restricts those that wish to keep their Intellectual Property open and free to the public domain?  Why do we want to add a layer of bureaucracy onto the cost of already expensive internet services?  Why do we allow legislators to write lousy laws that result in restrictions in Free Speech and Free Access to the World Wide Web?

Speaking of poorly written laws, Obama signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which is an international treaty agreement that permits foreign countries and companies to demand Web providers to remove Web content in the United States without legal review.  The Treaty has not been ratified by the Congress.  However, that hasn’t stopped the Marxist in Chief from stepping around Congress.  In what was a blatantly illegal move, Obama declared the Treaty an “executive agreement” and thereby bypassing Congressional approval.  This law is worse than SOPA and its partner law PIPA.  The scope and broadness would effectively stifle free speech on the web.  For example, suppose a website reported on the intolerance of certain a nations’ political or religious discrimination, it could be blocked from publishing that content.  That’s exactly what happened to “Bare Naked Islam” on blog hosting website WordPress, the host of this blog.  When the organization known as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), an organization with ties to Islamic Terrorist groups, accused the website of spreading hate speech, WordPress then shut them down citing a violation of terms of service.  Granted this decision by WordPress to silence “Bare Naked Islam” wasn’t related to any existing legislation, but it represents a pattern of political correctness that internet providers, hosting sites and users are facing in the wake of attacks on Freedom of Speech.  The ISP providers see this coming and are preparing for the worse.

That is the real problem with rotton legislation like the one being proposed in the Hawai’I legislature. As in Hawai’i, there seems to be a lack of “Checks and Balances” with legislation written by all government entities.   This seems to be a systemic problem with all levels of government, from Congress, to State and local entities.  It’s not just either a Democrat or Republican problem.  SOPA’s data retention proposal was written and sponsored by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).  Rep. John Mizuno’s legislation takes data retention to a whole new level of privacy intrusion.  Besides not being well thought-out, the consequences of how such legislation would not only hurt free speech, but it would severely damage commerce on the Internet.  This is not what the Founders had in mind when they designed the Republic.

Voter apathy must end if we are ever to see an end to this creeping socialism!  The voting public needs to be more involved in the legislative process at all levels; from the PTA to Presidential elections, to electing the Dog catcher.  The public should demand greater accountability from those in our employ.  We are taxpayers, and they are elected by “us’, the taxpayers!  They are paid by “us”, the taxpayers.

We should get our money’s worth, don’tcha think?  When voters do get involved, this is what happens.  Read Here!

 

 

What’s For Dinner?

 

Grilled Ono Filets with Saute’ Vegetables over Rice and Home made Cheese Bread

 

 

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