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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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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.


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
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.


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

RE: Showing their true colors
By porkpie on 8/12/2009 11:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
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."

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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