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  (Source: Puppet Government)
Government could reap a wealth of information from its citizens

Every day millions across the country navigate to government webpages, to read pertinent information. Since 2000 that access has been safeguarded, thanks to a prohibition on government websites using cookies or other tracking technology to track users.  Agency exceptions could only be granted under cases of "compelling need".

Now the Obama administration is looking to overturn that prohibition and potentially begin harvesting a wealth of data on its citizen's activities.  Under the plan, the prohibition would be replaced with a set of privacy provisions.  Aides say that it would increase government transparency and "increase public involvement".

The measure, though, has many opponents.  The American Civil Liberties Union spokesman Michael Macleod-Ball commented that the measure would "allow the mass collection of personal information of every user of a federal government website."

Other opponents dislike that the government may be looking to revoke the protections at the request of search-engine giant Google and other parties.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center and Electronic Frontier Foundation, both of which oppose the measure, pointed to a February 19 contract with Google and an unnamed federal agency over an exemption to use the YouTube player.

EPIC retrieved the proposed changes, negotiated by the General Services Administration, through a Freedom of Information Act request and says they "expressly waive those rules or guidelines as they may apply to Google."  States EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg, "Our primary concern is that the GSA has failed to protect the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.  The expectation is they should be complying with the government regulations, not that the government should change its regulations to accommodate these companies."

Currently, government content is banned from having tracking cookies, but third-party content, such as YouTube videos on federal websites may have tracking cookies.  Google spokeswoman Christine Chen declined to discuss the new rules, but thanked the government for its use of YouTube, stating, "[The use of YouTube] is just one example of how government and citizens communicate more effectively online, and we are proud of having worked closely with the White House to provide privacy protections for users."



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Showing their true colors
By darkfoon on 8/12/2009 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Agency exceptions could only be granted under cases of "compelling need".


Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.




RE: Showing their true colors
By therealnickdanger on 8/12/2009 2:52:58 PM , Rating: 5
All in the name of the "greater good" and for "greater transparency" and the new "open government". Sheesh... bunch of suckers fell for O-marketing.


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconJon on 8/12/2009 3:14:31 PM , Rating: 4
I would congratulate you, however your phrasing indicates you likely supported such breaches of rights and privacy under the previous administration, which makes you the other 50% of the problem.

Instead of taking turns with freedoms of different ideologies, such polarization and retardation of the masses has us rejoicing in our ability to take turns stealing freedoms from the "other side", all while yelling, and believing nothing more than, "Go, Team! Go!"

We only see the theft when it is taken from us, and we rationalize that thieving the other side is a balance to this problem. Thus the vicious circle continues.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Iaiken on 8/12/2009 3:24:46 PM , Rating: 4
^
Truth


RE: Showing their true colors
By jadeskye on 8/12/2009 3:36:09 PM , Rating: 5
Smells a bit like 1984 doesn't it?


RE: Showing their true colors
By TSS on 8/13/2009 4:46:55 AM , Rating: 2
Except i'm willing to bet this has been going on longer then 1984 :p


RE: Showing their true colors
By spartan014 on 8/13/2009 7:15:41 AM , Rating: 5
Nite Owl: But the country's disintegrating. What's happened to America? What's happened to the American dream?

The Comedian: It came true. You're lookin' at it. Now c'mon... let's really put these jokers through some changes.


RE: Showing their true colors
By gescom on 8/14/2009 8:18:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nite Owl: But the country's disintegrating. What's happened to America? What's happened to the American dream?


American dream? American capitalistic research & development dream?

Bernard Madoff happened, that's what's happened :) (not to mention many...). Good luck!


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 1:19:01 PM , Rating: 3
" The episode recalls a dispute in January when critics complained that a redesigned White House Web site featured embedded Google YouTube videos -- depicting events such as the president's weekly address -- that used tracking cookies. The White House and Google later reassured users that they had stopped collecting data. "
--
LOL - THEY GOT CAUGHT AND LATER SAID " THEY STOPPED COLLECTING DATA".
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...
hat tip to TheEinstein below
---
So what we have here is a government that will DO IT BEHIND OUR BACKS until they publicly get BUSTED, then " claim they stopped their misbehavior ".
Then they will cite an endless list of "an open public comment period" and "pride in how they worked to rpotect citizens" - and on and on and on and on... AFTER THEY GET BUSTED WITH THEIR DIRTY CRIMINAL RED HANDS COVERED IN BLOOD, AND CLAIM THEY HAVE IMMMEDIATELY STOPPED THEIR NAUGHTY BEHAVIOR !
---
roflmao - it's sooooooo pathetic !
----
BUSTED ! > " The terms of the contract, negotiated through the General Services Administration, "expressly waives those rules or guidelines as they may apply to Google." The contract was obtained by EPIC through a Freedom of Information Act request. "
BUSTED ! note above some watchdog had to request a FIOA and we all know that takes months and months, in the mean time the data collection was ongoing...
----------
here, enjoy the quotes of the very perps who were caught red handed and told us all they stopped collecting data...
--
" Google spokeswoman Christine Chen directed broader questions to the government, but said in a statement that the White House use of YouTube "is just one example of how government and citizens communicate more effectively online, and we are proud of having worked closely with the White House to provide privacy protections for users."
---
ROFLMAO > " GSA and White House officials would not answer questions, releasing only a statement by OMB spokesman Kenneth Baer that said the administration is committed to protecting users' privacy. "That is why when we asked for public comment on a new cookie policy, we specifically identified privacy considerations as a main area of focus," Baer wrote. "
--
Ahh, yes the kind and loving government gave the public a chance to comment - but wether that was before or after THE BIG FIOA BUST, who knows and who cares...
The government goes about it's evil changing deeds in the dark and in secret, and only when some freedom fighting watchdog digs through the red tape and yanks the truth out into the light with a 6 months or more extended long waiting FIOA request, does "the government" (and google) say " OH ! YOU CAUGHT US! GOLLY, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY STOP COLLECTING DATA ! WE WE'RE SO WRONG, SO NAUGHTY, WE WON'T DO THAT AGAIN ! "
----
Uhh...no they are most likely doing it right now, anyway, with another law slapped onto some gigantic 10,000 page omnibus bill that excuses them entirely from "the old rules", and in another 6 months some FIOA request will perhaps with luck dig out the "new workaround method" which no doubt is " the compelling exception clause" the article cited points out.


RE: Showing their true colors
By UNHchabo on 8/12/2009 4:00:00 PM , Rating: 5
I would've made a very similar comment, and I didn't like either candidate in this past election. I'm a libertarian, and I hate all infringements on our rights and privacy.


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/12/2009 4:38:32 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I'm a libertarian too.

The problem was the original poster implied that it was "falling for" Obama's campaign PR that is causing this type of intrusion.

Basically, "ha, you stupid liberals were tricked, Obama is a fascist."

Well, the problem is (as I'm sure you agree as a libertarian) that both parties are giving up our privacy rights every chance they get. It has nothing to do with "O-marketing," or falling for it. The bottom line is we effectively have two party choices for president and neither has a good record on this issue.

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By foolsgambit11 on 8/12/2009 6:32:26 PM , Rating: 5
Calling yourself a libertarian means absolutely nothing in America. Almost all Americans are libertarians. Very few are members of the Libertarian Party. The average American believes in freedom, democracy, and limited government. "Except..." That's why you have conservative 'libertarians' who have problems with drug legalization or gay marriage, and liberal 'libertarians' who have problems with 'excessive' gun rights or national security restrictions.

The label libertarian covers them all, though, in their own mind. It is a meaningless label essentially synonymous with 'American'. At least in common usage.


RE: Showing their true colors
By PrezWeezy on 8/12/2009 6:50:16 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
That's why you have conservative 'libertarians' who have problems with drug legalization or gay marriage


Conservative, by definition, means they don't want the government to rule their personal life. Therefore a true "conservative" does not want the government to regulate drugs or homosexual marriage. Any Republican/Libertarian/Conservative who says they are for banning drugs and gays is very confused on what they actually believe.

Libertarian, however, is the reorganization of former Republicans who still actually want a conservative party. Republicans are no long conservative as a party and the Libertarians are attracting the true conservatives hand over fist. A libertarian wants a minimal government whose only job is to protect us from foreign threats. Foreign being the operative word.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Alexvrb on 8/12/2009 11:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're very confused about the meaning of "personal life". Example: Lets say I don't give a damn if you use drugs at home. However, I also don't want them being sold legally and openly on the (public) streets either. Should we try to create and enforce laws that only make drugs illegal to use publically (and therefore not illegal to create and use "privately")? Do you realize that would be even more laughable than what we do now?

Also I think your label of "true conservative" is cute, but naive, because in the end its just another label. I don't think even the most diehard libertarians wouldn't want the rules bent a little in their favor if it really hits the fan right on their front yard.


RE: Showing their true colors
By foolsgambit11 on 8/13/2009 1:30:16 AM , Rating: 1
Conservative, by definition, actually means interested in preserving the status quo, or possibly in returning to a previous status quo. Although in common usage, it would be the political 'right', as opposed to the political 'left' of liberals, the political 'up' of libertarians, and the political 'down' of the interventionists (who find their ultimate realization in totalitarianism).

I'm just making up the 'up' and 'down', I think. But I've always felt that the political spectrum was more of a Cartesian coordinate system than a mere left-right line. And even that doesn't cover the fact that, for instance, the Republican Party is socially about a (6,-3) (right, mildly interventionist) and economically about a (-7,6) (left (i.e., progressive, against the old status quo of protectionism) and libertarian), for instance. (The democrats being generally the opposite - left and a little interventionist on social issues and right and interventionist on economic issues, with a streak of Clintonite left-libertarians in there). And both parties can be dramatically different than their general position on specific issues. So even adding a dimension doesn't really allow an accurate mapping of a holistic approach to government.


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/12/2009 7:12:44 PM , Rating: 5
Well, I'm sorry that some have misused the term. However, I am a small "l" libertarian and I don't have any of those "excepts". I accept that these things will be regulated but I am still against it.

Maybe there are some reasonable limits, like not allowing individual possession of nuclear arms, but really I think the govt. goes too far on everything. That doesn't mean I don't understand why we have gun laws, for example. I just don't support them.

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By foolsgambit11 on 8/13/2009 1:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
See, now that actually explains something about where you stand. I appreciate the clarification.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Ammohunt on 8/13/09, Rating: -1
RE: Showing their true colors
By jimbojimbo on 8/13/2009 3:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
You think an anarchist is an enemy of freedom? Umm....


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/17/2009 4:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
lol...


RE: Showing their true colors
By porkpie on 8/12/2009 11:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The bottom line is we effectively have two party choices for president and neither has a good record on this issue.
One huge difference. Bush's intrusions on freedom and civil rights had very little impact on the average American. Compare that to something like ObamaCare, which will decimate freedom in 22% of our economy and...well, there really is no comparison.

(And for the record, I was against the Patriot Act from the first day it was proposed.)


RE: Showing their true colors
By chagrinnin on 8/13/2009 12:18:17 AM , Rating: 5
Hah! I was just sayin' to my girlfriend the other day,...

"Isn't it great to live in a country with 78% undecimated freedom in the economy."


RE: Showing their true colors
By therealnickdanger on 8/12/2009 4:06:56 PM , Rating: 5
The use of O-marketing was a giveaway? Hell, even Pepsi copied the Obama campaign for its own advertising. Or was it the paraphrasing of the ignored campaign promises of the current administration that exposed me?

I certainly supported more of the "breaches" of the previous administration, but at least those served a more logical purpose with the goal of combatting criminal action. This "breach" appears to be nothing more than another leftist method of sustaining power by isolating demographics in order to orchestrate more aggressive propaganda of political agendas. I see no value for the American people in this "breach" whatsoever other than to keep the powerful in power by means of voter manipulation.

That's just my opinion...


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/12/2009 5:01:57 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I see no value for the American people in this "breach" whatsoever other than to keep the powerful in power by means of voter manipulation.


It doesn't really matter what the reasoning for such a "breach" is. History has taught us that powers like this, once given, will be used in unexpected and unadvertised ways. It's basically guaranteed that they will be abused.

quote:
I certainly supported more of the "breaches" of the previous administration, but at least those served a more logical purpose with the goal of combatting criminal action.


This is what I'm talking about. You don't care that the govt. can wiretap us without a judge's order, as long as the stated purpose is to combat terrorism? Of course this power will be abused, and the excuse for having this power is kind of irrelevant.

It's kind of pathetic to turn a thing like losing personal privacy to the government into an excuse to say, "I told you so" about Obama. Because Bush was HORRIBLE for personal privacy. The government for the last 20 years has been increasingly bad. This is systemic and has very little to do with people getting euphoric over the idea of a dream candidate who will cure the US of its ills.

Most of those who "told you so" about Obama never really had anything to offer privacy advocates. Both parties have a horrendous record. After the last eight years of Bush's policies, the Republican party has a particularly grotesque blemish.

If you voted Libertarian in the last election, then I apologize. But somehow, I doubt it.

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By Nfarce on 8/12/2009 5:21:58 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's kind of pathetic to turn a thing like losing personal privacy to the government into an excuse to say, "I told you so" about Obama. Because Bush was HORRIBLE for personal privacy. The government for the last 20 years has been increasingly bad.


I certainly don't disagree with that, but Bush's "illegal" wiretapping was overseas to US calls from nations that either support or are suspect in supporting terrorism. In fact, the Obama administration has decided to keep that same program in place. Team-O on the campaign trail last year said "no more illegal wiretapping."

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135575/Oba...

Second and more to the point, a lot of the people who were all up in arms over the Bush administration's privacy invasions sure haven't raised a fuss on either of these projects. One can only assume it's because their guy is in office now. Come to think of it, I don't hear them whining about the out of control deficit spending either lately that has nearly doubled in a mere 7 months.

Either way, I think both Democrats and Republicans are failing this nation. Period.


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/12/2009 7:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
"Illegal" wiretapping is something else than admitting you are doing it. I almost prefer the former, though, at least then you acknowledge it isn't above board.

This is not "illegal" wiretapping, of course. I am still against it, but tracking is not wiretapping, per se.

You have to understand that "illegal" wiretapping means, "doing what the law says you can't do." If you change the law (e.g., PATRIOT act), it's not illegal. Either way I'm against it, but proposing to change the law and just ignoring it are very different things.

Again, not sure which is worse, admitting you are changing the law and setting a precedent that it is ok, or secretly ignoring the law and setting precedent that it is wrong.

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By knutjb on 8/12/2009 10:41:17 PM , Rating: 4
Let me clear this once more. The Patriot Act STILL requires a warrant if ANY call was placed or received inside the US. It allows them to listen until they receive it within a short, specific, period of time. If they listened and found something, they must have a warrant to go to court, period.

One other major item that keeps the Patriot Act in a different league than what Obama is doing is that the Patriot Act MUST be renewed every 5 years by Congress. This enables refining of or removal of some or all pieces of the legislation based on legal and performance issues.

With so many foreign communications passing through the US it would be foolish to ignore them. These rules are very specific in their implementation and ALL errors have to be reported to Congress, as they have been.

The Federal Government has slowly crept into our lives via our computers. Government MUST get LEGAL permission through a warrant for ANY domestic surveillance of any kind. Computers, like our phones must be protected with warrants, no matter how easy it is to eves drop and down load it's information. As far as I'm concerned, if they know it IS an foreign national trying to access a site, open season just like the phone calls. Just like the phone calls, it must be reported to Congress. You know that balance of power thing.

Just because a US citizen accesses a Gov website, doesn't mean the Government has the right to download their entire contents.

For those who voted for "Change" are you getting what you expected? I didn't vote for him so I can't answer that, but I am curious. I'm not asking to be facetious.


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/13/2009 12:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let me clear this once more. The Patriot Act STILL requires a warrant if ANY call was placed or received inside the US. It allows them to listen until they receive it within a short, specific, period of time. If they listened and found something, they must have a warrant to go to court, period.


Yes, the PATRIOT act does require this. However, the NSA surveillance program ("terrorist surveillance program"), warrants are not required. All that is required is that the NSA believe that one end of the conversation be outside the US. It doesn't actually have to be outside the US, the NSA just has to "think" it is! Add to that, the calls could go to Canada and qualify.

Now, if the belief of the NSA is all that is required to completely bypass wiretap laws and even the much more limited requirements of the PATRIOT act (which only requires a warrant, not a wiretap order), it basically means they can wiretap anyone.

Can they use the wiretap in court? Well, probably not. But is that all we care about?

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By Nfarce on 8/13/2009 10:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is not "illegal" wiretapping, of course. I am still against it, but tracking is not wiretapping, per se.


You do realize that I used the " marks in reference to the mindless masses who like to scream illegal at the drop of a hat with everything I hope - at least during the previous administration anyway.


RE: Showing their true colors
By adiposity on 8/13/2009 12:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
I thought you might have referred to the "terrorist surveillance program," which as far as I am concerned is both "illegal" and illegal. No law allowed for it, but the NSA did it anyway. They completely bypassed wiretapping laws and the warrant requirements of the PATRIOT act.

Now, you can argue whether it's a good idea, of course. But legal? Not really.

-Dan


RE: Showing their true colors
By 2bits on 8/12/2009 7:41:42 PM , Rating: 1
Lol, so you hedge Bush's mass collection of data through monitoring phone calls, email, and just about everything else as mere "breaches", implying you barely consider them breaches at all.

But, when Obama wants to enable cookies on .gov sites like any other website since the dawn of the internet, well that's a "leftist method of sustaining power by isolating demographics in order to orchestrate more aggressive propaganda of political agendas".

Really... why are all the nut jobs the first to post in these threads? The more sane posts are almost always relegated to the bottom of the thread. It's just not right.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Nfarce on 8/13/2009 10:52:35 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
But, when Obama wants to enable cookies on .gov sites like any other website since the dawn of the internet, well that's a "leftist method of sustaining power by isolating demographics in order to orchestrate more aggressive propaganda of political agendas".


If you think this administration and fellow Chicago political goons won't do anything more with that data other than use it like cookie adware, then you are not only delusional, but ignorant. I'm sorry, there's no other way around it.

quote:
Really... why are all the nut jobs the first to post in these threads?


Nut jobs, eh? Well why don't you just go ahead and spit it out like the third in line to the presidency, Nancy Pelosi, called those who are exercising their free speech rights at the town hall health care: call these posters "Nazis" or "haters." It will make you feel so superior and smart and all... it must. Your dear leadership does it.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Danish1 on 8/13/2009 3:04:53 AM , Rating: 3
You sir speaketh the truth.

The net result of what you wrote is of course that the government is forever increasing its meddling where it has no business whatsoever.

Sadly, people who see it for what it is are only drops in the mindless sheeple ocean that is the voting population.


RE: Showing their true colors
By on 8/24/2009 5:33:44 AM , Rating: 1
POWERFUL POSTING MY FRIEND

WE NEED TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AS IT SEEMS TO BE THE LEAST ADDRESSED YET THE MOST PRESSING.

DEMONCRATS AND REPUGNANTCUNTS ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN.

THEY DIFFER ON TRIVIAL ISSUES (GAY MARRIAGE) BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE OUR PRIVACY AND LIBERTIES THEY ARE BEARING DOWN FULL THROTTLE ON BOTH.

A 3RD PARTY OR A MORE INFORMED VOTING PUBLIC IS THE ONLY WAY.

I FEAR THE STUPIDITY OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC STANDS IN OUR WAY, AND IS UNMOVABLE.


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 12:23:18 PM , Rating: 3
US Constitution, Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
----------------
In other words, the States and the people are the entities that should be in charge of and working out all these newly absconded with FEDERAL powers - such as "healthcare" - that now somehow the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT claims the US Constitution gave it a right to administer.
Same on these endless .gov websites - that are often another States and we the people power that the FEDDIES already STOLE by corrupt US Congressional legislation, and now have to have some gigantic nationwide .gov clearinghouse website to "distribute" by "tracking".
lol
What a gigantic tangled web the feds have weaved, when they have taken over what we have recieved.
---
The States - all 50 of them now, implementing their own 50 various "experiments" for we the people, wound up having the smart States copy the winning program - and the people able to flee to a State where they liked the implementation of governance.
With the FEDERAL GOV running anything, there are no longer 49 other choices to flee to, nor refinement and correction of "bad policies" over 50 experimental areas.
People seem to forget that as well.
---
Welcome to your one Federal Government only "order", with no place to run to and no place to hide.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Samus on 8/12/2009 2:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's just government websites. I'm SHOCKED that anybody thought these weren't monitored in the first place. It's like saying the government isn't monitoring "How to Enrich Uranium" at the public library.

If it is public, it is public. On or off the internet.


RE: Showing their true colors
By invidious on 8/12/2009 3:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If it is public, it is public. On or off the internet.


Yes and government website traffic is not public. Your statement is moronic and your shock doesn't justify anything.

Sense you obviously can't figure it out on your own the point of alarm is that this administration is trashing individual liberties. And just because he says that he is doing these things as liberalism doesn't make them any less fascist.


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 12:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
But of course that is the trick of national socialists - whatever they do is for the good of all, and so should be endorsed by all, and loved.
Problem is they keep taking more and more, and pretty soon the "liberal loving government" owns, manipulates, or runs EVERYTHING - all for our own good and in the name of "the general welfare", of course.
If it's "all public" as the former poster said, the "government" can do anything it wants with it, acting "in the name of the public" and "for the public" - as the former poster implied.
Take "the public school system" as an example. Property taxes to support it, if you don't pay, the IRS comes by and takes your home away, and throws you in prison. This is "for the public" school system.
Before property taxes widely paid for "social education" - the government had no "property tax on every home" and no reason to come and confiscate homes, and toss people in prison for "not obeying" and being part of the big borg gov collective that is futile to resist.
People need it explained to them before they get it.


RE: Showing their true colors
By porkpie on 8/12/2009 11:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's like saying the government isn't monitoring "How to Enrich Uranium" at the public library
Yeah, because every terrorist group learns to build nuclear weapons by doing a few Google searches.


RE: Showing their true colors
By omnicronx on 8/12/2009 3:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
You say this as though you have never used google or pretty much any other site on the internet that makes use of cookies. Who cares if they start monitoring government sites? Your search activities to find said sites are probably already being monitored.

Google knows far more about you than any goverment tracking cookie ever will.

Things google knows include:
-Shopping habits
-Sports you like
-Porn you like
-Games you like
-Searching habits
-The Gilmore girls DVD set you bought that you hope nobody will ever hear about
etc etc etc..


RE: Showing their true colors
By GaryJohnson on 8/12/2009 3:29:44 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Google knows far more about you than any goverment tracking cookie ever will.

Other than specifically who you are. I think a critical part of invading someone's privacy is having someone specific whose privacy you can invade.


RE: Showing their true colors
By omnicronx on 8/12/2009 4:09:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Other than specifically who you are. .
I beg to differ, any website you access with specific account information leaves you far more open. To a government site with no user accounts, you are nothing but an IP address from a non specific geographical location. (which without a warrant they cannot take this IP to get your name, address , etc). Google for example, knows my full name, sex, age, who I work for, and my IP and geographical location,

Now I understand what you really meant is the government has records on all its citizens, but if it has no way to match up these records then what good does it do?

I am all for privacy when needed, but this is really being blown out of proportion as this data is most likely going to be used to figure out which demographics and areas actually use these services. (which makes it easier to make a plan to curtail to the ones that currently do not) Many other countries already do this, I know for a fact StatsCanada does, and this is exactly what it is used for.


RE: Showing their true colors
By GaryJohnson on 8/12/2009 5:44:14 PM , Rating: 4
What I really meant is:
quote:
you are nothing but an IP address from a non specific geographical location

to google and the government.

Some government sites do tie your user account to your SSN# or DL#. FAFSA comes to mind.

quote:
Google for example, knows my full name, sex, age, who I work for

How does google know that stuff about you? I've googled my name before, but google doesn't know it's my name that I'm googling.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Iaiken on 8/12/2009 5:59:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Many other countries already do this, I know for a fact StatsCanada does, and this is exactly what it is used for.


I used develop information publishing systems for the Government of Canada and they all required some means for anonymous usages statistics and business intelligence pertaining to which online services and publications were being used.

This allowed them to assess the usefulness of this online content and gauge it's exposer and how it was being accessed and from where.

Sounds to me that this is much the same... A cookie is just a text file for tracking habits... now if they wanted to introduce a script that downloads a key-logger so they could steal your bank account info in order to fund the 'war on terror', I would be upset...


RE: Showing their true colors
By JediJeb on 8/12/2009 3:37:57 PM , Rating: 3
Just use your Hosts file to reroute all of the Google tracking to a dead IP, I do it for Google Analytics all the time.


RE: Showing their true colors
By HelToupee on 8/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: Showing their true colors
By GaryJohnson on 8/12/2009 5:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
Fear and shame are some of the worst kind of emotions people can have. If you're afraid someone's going to find out about something you do that you're ashamed of then stop doing it. Or stop being ashamed of it. Be proud of whatever you are and don't be afraid to let other people see who you are.


RE: Showing their true colors
By straycat74 on 8/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: Showing their true colors
By on 8/24/2009 5:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
you might be unashamed of something you do, that doesn't mean a 3rd party with that information can't use it against you in a harmful way.


RE: Showing their true colors
By ggordonliddy on 8/12/2009 7:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
-The Gilmore girls DVD set you bought that you hope nobody will ever hear about

SHHHH!!!! I told you to keep that on the down-low!


RE: Showing their true colors
By rs1 on 8/12/2009 3:17:04 PM , Rating: 1
Actually I think this article is mostly alarmist nonsense. They're not talking about any sort of broad "web-tracking plan" as the headline suggests. They're basically talking about doing the equivalent of installing Google Analytics onto government websites to track user information. I don't see what the big deal is, and if they had just made such a change under the covers, without announcing it, I bet very few people would have noticed or cared. If you really don't want them to track you, just turn off your cookies (or stay off their websites altogether).

As someone else mentioned, I find it hard to believe that people thought that the government wasn't already doing this on their own websites. Normally, I'd be the first person to start complaining about the government invading people's privacy, but that's just not what's happening here. Government websites are property of the government, and they can operate their webspace however they want. Anyone who doesn't like it can just avoid using their websites, and then their online activity will not be tracked by the government in any way.

Now, if they were suggesting that all non-government websites would be required to collect stats about their users, and turn those stats over to the government, then *that* would be something to complain about. As-is, however, this is much ado about nothing.


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconJon on 8/12/2009 3:22:30 PM , Rating: 3
"stay off their websites altogether"

This is our government we're talking about. If that is one of your options you may want to give another analysis to the issue. Maybe? No? Ok.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Some1ne on 8/12/2009 3:39:40 PM , Rating: 1
Well actually, if people are that paranoid about a little tracking cookie, then they should probably just stay off the Internet altogether (or learn to use Tor).

Hell, even DailyTech is using Google Analytics to track us right now. Oh no, my privacy, it's been stolen by the devious urchin tracker!


RE: Showing their true colors
By Pythias on 8/13/2009 9:14:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well actually, if people are that paranoid about a little tracking cookie, then they should probably just stay off the Internet altogether (or learn to use Tor).


Screw you.

quote:
Hell, even DailyTech is using Google Analytics to track us right now. Oh no, my privacy, it's been stolen by the devious urchin tracker!


Not if you know how to edit a host file.


RE: Showing their true colors
By Steve1981 on 8/12/2009 3:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Government websites are property of the government, and they can operate their webspace however they want.


Government is not some private entity such as a corporation or an individual. In spite of what seemingly the vast majority of politicians appear to think, "they" are public servants, and cannot just do as they please.


RE: Showing their true colors
By MadMan007 on 8/12/2009 3:43:30 PM , Rating: 4
Government websites are not 'property of the government' they are 'property of the people' because we allow the government to govern.


RE: Showing their true colors
By rs1 on 8/12/2009 3:58:16 PM , Rating: 3
Well then the case becomes even easier. If I were making a website, then I would most definitely instrument it with some form of tracking/analytics software, because it's just idiotic to have a website and then have no visibility into who's visiting it, how they are using it, what flows they are interacting with, how many return visits I get, the average time on site, and so on and so forth. In fact, it seems distinctly possible that the lack of such information is part of the reason why most government websites are currently a barely usable mess.

Regardless, I would suggest that no sane web developer would really prefer to be without any sort of analytics support, and that if government websites really are "property of the people" then we should defer judgement to those people who actually are web developers. As such, it become a foregone conclusion that analytics makes perfect sense on government websites, and the topic is still a non-issue. Either the government owns them, and can operate them however it wants, or the people do and they should be operated in a way that's consistent with how any reasonably tech-savvy individual would operate their own website. Either way you end up with tracking/analytics.


RE: Showing their true colors
By MadMan007 on 8/12/2009 5:50:39 PM , Rating: 3
Then all the information and every single way in which it's used, cited, or shared must be made public as well. Then 'we the people' as the owners would be in the same position a tech-savvy web developer would have control over his analytics.


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 9:19:03 AM , Rating: 3
And there of course is the "catch". There isn't a chance in H E doubletoothpicks the government will make the data public, nor tell us how they use it, nor any of that.
We will instead get a " What? You don't trust us ??!!? We use this to "provide cradle to grave services for all!"!
:-) In a loving and caring manner, of course. You are FAMILY.
[ then the repubs or dems will accuse eachother quite legitimately of misuing the info - with valid evidence - against of course whichever party is in charge at the moment - at which point the leading party of the moment will deny everything, until they switch places and it reverses. ]
" You must be an insane nutjob to think anything else ! Maybe you need some social worker counseling, or medication! We can help you with that! "
---------
Then the party out of power, accesses the "government data" and uses it to their benefit as well - re-election, redirection of another tenth of the economy, social control and manipulation, population databases, TAKEOVER of the coming census by the Executive Branch, manipulating voting districts for consolidation and party control (making deals between the parties for such) etc...
---
Of course, it's ALWAYS "nothing to be concerned about".
---
Funny how the one person said " you make it sound like it's all encompassing" - but we all know that nowadays, once a PRECEDENT is established at a single .gov website, with the modern communication at lightning speed - EVERY *.gov website will immediately "have the right" to do the same, and MORE. (as the case goes, that MORE is "improvements" to "implementation").
------
When they all scream we will be newly open and transparent as everyone knows this secrecy is terrbile, and then NONE of them are, you really have to be an idiot to buy a word from their pieholes anymore.


RE: Showing their true colors
By invidious on 8/12/2009 4:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
The government does not have rights and it certainly can not do whatever it wants. Your misinformed view is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to government running wild and trampling our rights.

The goverment wants to take away your privacy and offers no reasoning as to what you stand to gain from it. Why on earth would you accept that? Someone stands to benifit or it wouldn't be happening, and if that someone isn't you then you should be questioning the move.


RE: Showing their true colors
By omnicronx on 8/12/2009 4:24:29 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The government does not have rights and it certainly can not do whatever it wants.
How can you say that? That's the entire point of democracy. Everytime a bill is passed it is the voice of the people. You express you voice by voting for a representative. Thus one would think that as long as it within the law and the government can get enough support than surely they can do what they please. Don't like it, change your vote next time around. Every decision made in congress is indirectly voicing your opinion.

Furthermore what exactly do you think this proposed plan is going to allow? You will merely be an IP address associated with viewing habits and a geographical location. Hardly an evasion of privacy.

I really don't see the problem here, worst case scenario is this plan does not help anything, best case is they are able to curtail their services and information to those that actually use it, or perhaps changing things to curtail to those that currently don't.

Either way the only way to associate your name with your IP address is a warrant, and this proposed plan does not change that.


RE: Showing their true colors
By ChristopherO on 8/12/2009 5:48:01 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Everytime a bill is passed it is the voice of the people


Not at all. There are two horrible choices, and one of them always gets elected. If there were a third option on every ballot, "none of the above" and that position winnning would result in the seat being left open for a term...

Well, congress would be a big empty building with a handful of janitors employed to keep it clean.

I tend to be of the opinion that every vote, everywhere is always designed as a pay-off for supporters. Ideological, or fiduciary. Sadly I don't trust any bill created by either party. I do have an ideological slant, but everyone running always has an act to grind, and it doesn't matter what the letter next to your name happens to be.

About the topic at hand -- I do believe in privacy, but I seriously don't think the government enabling cookies on websites means a hill of beans. They probably aren't bright enough to use the information anyway. And heck, if they really wanted to abuse our rights, they would have the NSA track everyone.

Fundamentally though, I believe that the government shouldn't have any tracking of the citizens. Everyone forgets *we* employ *them*. Allowing them to track *us* is like an employee snooping around the HR files of their boss.


RE: Showing their true colors
By ChristopherO on 8/12/2009 5:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
blah, I mean "ax to grind". Darn lack of edit key. If only I worked for DT, I could post an article and change it 40 times after publication... :)


RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 8:37:09 AM , Rating: 4
Don't apologize, you're talking to someone who doesn't know the meaning of the word "curtail", and believes we live in a "democracy".
The little noobers of the day have sucked up the commie propaganda like sponges for quite some time.
If they had paid attention, they would know the Founders abhorred "democracy" - that the government has NO RIGHTS, and cannot take rights away from citizens EXCEPT by VIOLATING the rule of law - which they attempt in many ways to do more and more often since our founding.
The spit and vinegar will come out of that one as soon as he/she experiences the adverse affects of "democracy", which likely cannot be too far into the future.
USofA Founding: Man was created with inalienable rights, and government is formed TO PROTECT THOSE. The government does not, in the American version and absolute expectionalism above all other methods, acquire rights, nor a "majority voice of the people" to "do their will" - since that will may also be to TAKE AWAY RIGHTS inherent to their fellow man. ( HENCE the current argument that "healthcare" is a RIGHT - if the government gets enough of the "mob" to AGREE - the government then claims not just that it is here to PROTECT that right, BUT TO ADMINISTER IT'S VERY EXISTENCE - hence PROVIDE and TAKE AWAY that right at it's WHIM - at it's pleasure, at it's taxing or monetary printing inflation rate or DEMAND that other individuals WORK under xx wages or orders to make that "RIGHT" occur.)
Developing an endless list of "RIGHTS" the government can assume power to "protect" is also DANGEROUS.
If one assumes (falsely and naively) the "democratic group of people" never make a "tyrannical mistake or decision", it's just fine to screech "your voice is represented" so what are you worried about ? However, reality a long time ago taught the Founders that the "mob" will take away others and (hence)their own rights just as easily as some lunatic dictator or elite power group.
We live in a Constitutional Republic, not a "democracy", and in our REPUBLIC the rule of law declares neither the government nor any other actor may take away those rights which are inalienable, and permanent FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS, FOREVER.
They don't get to take them away because "it's a good idea" or because " the reps were voted in and therefore the people have spoken" - unless they are BREAKING our form of government, ignoring the rule of law, and the Constitution, and doing that which our government was designed to NEVER HAVE THE POWER TO DO.
People, especially the younger people, seem to have never learned such, and are very happy to preach exactly the opposite - as if popular opinion or a "majority of 51%" over 49% - "have the right" to "do what they decide" to everyone else, and even (then)to themselves.
Nope, not in this nation.
The government acquires rights by consent? Not in the USofA, sorry.
DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
The government has ZERO rights, you and I and "curtail" have ALL the rights, and the government's ONLY duty is TO PROTECT THOSE, not to abscond with them to use "as their own" "for our own good".
NEVER APOLOGIZE for being free, nor knowing what it means to be so.



RE: Showing their true colors
By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
US Constitution, Article IV, Section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,
-----
Uhh, gee... that kinda blanks out the "democracy" and "majority rules".


RE: Showing their true colors
By Pythias on 8/13/2009 9:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Furthermore what exactly do you think this proposed plan is going to allow? You will merely be an IP address associated with viewing habits and a geographical location. Hardly an evasion of privacy.


Er they ask your isp who your ip was assigned to and where they live?


RE: Showing their true colors
By AlexWade on 8/12/2009 7:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to Soviet America, comrade. President Bush started it, President Obama is continuing his work, albeit for different reasons.


RE: Showing their true colors
By eddieroolz on 8/12/2009 7:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I guess Obama is now showing his true colors..


RE: Showing their true colors
By borowki2 on 8/16/2009 3:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if you can say they've been hiding their true colors. Remember Joe the Plumber? Without hours of the last presidential debate the O-bots had gone through his records and sent the embarrassing bits to the media. That is just how these people operate.


RE: Showing their true colors
By scrapsma54 on 8/16/2009 7:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
Its web site tracking data, this is a little different from the government tracking the user. This is like keeping a log of activities, if they government needs to investigate a user they pull up the users activities and make a list of suspects. This is a way to get rid of the smarter criminals that are gaming the system in a big way.
Sure privacy is a concern, I am not happy seeing this at all. However the internet has become a lawless wasteland that any college grad could game. But how would you like some a-hole executing SSL-injections attacks to use your server as a way to hide his financial transactions for illegal drug dealing or better yet use it to execute a bot net?


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