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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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By invidious on 8/12/2009 4:16:50 PM , Rating: 4
Socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Capitalism is a polar opposite of Socialism and they are mutually exclusive. Your implication that all governments are socialist shows your lack of understanding of the meaning of the term.

By Bateluer on 8/12/2009 4:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, just because a government provides public services using tax payer money does not make it socialist. A republican, capitalist nation, like what the US used to be, can still provide public services using tax payer money. It becomes socialist when that government begins taking over private industries right and left, like Hugo Chavez.

By GaryJohnson on 8/12/2009 8:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
Those public services which were provided under the repulican capitalist nation could have been private industries had they not been public services.

By Steve1981 on 8/12/2009 5:03:35 PM , Rating: 2

Government is simply the system by which people establish and maintain the framework for which societies function. The only real common thread they tend to share is some semblance of law and order, common defense, and establishing infrastructure. It is inherently social , but not necessarily socialist.

By Steve1981 on 8/12/2009 5:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
Should have proof read that a bit better, but ohh well.

By GaryJohnson on 8/12/2009 8:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
establishing infrastructure

That's the part that's under dispute. It is that part which is being labeled by some indviduals through some arbitrary means socialism.

By Steve1981 on 8/12/2009 9:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen too many people complaining that governments provide and maintain roadways and calling that socialism... There are certainly disputes about the quality of roads, bridges to nowhere, etc, but I haven't seen too many people that disagree with the assertion that infrastructure is essential to the flow of goods that takes place within a society, and as such is a valid job for government to deal with. Perhaps a truly hardcore libertarian?

That said, things like taking over GM and the bank bailout reek of socialism.

By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 10:00:45 AM , Rating: 2
Once the government takes it over, it's not only socialism, but TYRANNY - as their is no higher authority, and no other competitive choice to go to - to flee to - to use, otherwise.
Once the government takes it over, you are at THEIR MERCY, period.
Quite untrue when the same things exist outside the government dictat in the "private sector". Then one can DUMP the losers, and get another "brand" or similiar service from someone else who listens and responds - or even CREATE their own.
No, once the government has it - socialism or otherwise, it is TYRANNICAL MONOPOLY, and good luck "changing it", "dumping it", opting out of it, not paying for it, not participating in it, and not "GOING TO JAIL OR PRISON IF YOU DON'T!"
Something to perhaps keep in mind as our USofA delves ever further into the government owning and controlling the ENTIRE economy - all for "our good", of course.
Anyone here able to honestly claim they don't have 50% or more of it already, or convince anyone they aren't after a larger and larger chunk every single day of every year ?
Has been that way my entire life - and it appears to be accellerating.

By MadMan007 on 8/12/2009 5:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well then by your definition very little of what people decry as socialism, especially when they try to tie it to the 'other party' which is a joke, is actually socialism. What's funny though is that some of the best institutions in a class in terms of serving their customers are socialist because they are collectively unions being one that everyone knows.

By SiliconDoc on 8/13/2009 10:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute everybody. Our government is supposed to be a LIMITED government that merely protects each individual's inherent rights.
Instead our government has been and is morphing into a DO IT ALL absolute controller, administrator, and provider of " every right " anyone ever claimed to possess.
There is a big difference between a government that STOPS! OTHER PRIVATE CITIZENS or ENTITIES from taking away individuals rights, to a government that PROVIDES THOSE INDIVIDUAL "RIGHTS" EN MASSE BY TAXATION AND FORCED PARTICIPATION in their administration by the government itself !
Our government was designed not as a social cure that provides all services ("rights") - but as a mere guardian to STOP those private entities (domestic or foreign) which would take away inherent rights from it's citizens.
Nowadays people see the government as THE PROVIDER of their rights. therefore the government must tax the citizens and use the money to create, maintain, and distributre those services which cover "the inherent rights" of the people.
Not so long ago, the idea was the people were actually human beings that for centuries and eons had built in genetic predisposition to do such things naturally for themselves and those around them. The government was to step in only when an actor got out of control.
Ahh, but now of course, people see the government as duty bound not to just protect their rights, but to PROVIDE THEM - such as "health care".
People argue "they have an absolute right to it" - hence the government must not just allow them to seek it ( as in the Founding Fathers idea of limited government), but ACTUALLY PRODUCE THE HEALTH CARE, AND SETUP UP SHOP TO GIVE IT TO THEM.
It is quite a gigantic difference. One is freedom to make choices and determine one's own fate.
The latter is tyranny of the government monopoly "for the good of all" of course, "extracted and delivered by threat and force of law " - no matter what that reality of it's implementation does or doesn't bring.
In the former you have a choice, you have freedom, you have a say for yourself, you make your choice, in the latter "the collective" backed by the awesome and likely unbeatable power of the government makes those choices for you, and everyone else.
As the famous Borg collective line goes, " It is futile to resist. "

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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