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Big Brother gets a boost from bleeding edge technology

President Barack Obama wants to trim defense spending.  Former Mass. Governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants to bump the defense budget.  But one thing both agree on funding is funding the U.S. National Intelligence Agency's (NIA) ambitious facial recognition bid, which along with other advanced identification efforts, currently has been earmarked $1B USD in Congressional funding.

I. Facial Recognition is Now

Much of the funding goes to researchers working at Pittsburgh, Penn.'s Carnegie Mellon University.  By 2010, CMU reported [PDF] to Congress that it could pick out a person's face out of a database of 1.6m mug shots approximately 92 percent of the time.  While that high success rate did require the target be looking at the camera, Marios Savvide's lab is working to improve the algorithms so they can recognize faces at other angles too -- even if the person is looking away.

Using a 3D model of the face, the CMU algorithms render expected images from various angles for comparison.  Currently, the biggest challenge is lighting.  Results can be improved by augmenting the visible light data with infrared camera images -- but infrared cameras are expensive, and are relatively rare at public locations.

FBI tracking
The FBI is spending hundreds of millions in an effort to track U.S. citizens in public and on the internet, using advanced facial recognition. [Image Source: Hang the Bankers]

CMU researcher Alessandro Acquisti in July testimony [PDF] before the U.S. Senate told the legislators, "FACE recognition is 'now'."

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is indeed looking to roll the technology out as part of its Next Generation Identification (NGI) program. The program will also add other biometric identification technologies, including iris scans, DNA analysis, and voice identification.

Interpol -- an international policing body -- has long maintained a similar database to target high profile criminals such as international thieves, terrorists, and child sex predators.

But the new NGI effort, to be rolled out nationwide by 2014, represents the first effort to create a database of images of all criminal offenders in America.  Some states already have begun to upload their photos at the program's kickoff in February.  Currently the FBI's publicly announced plans have been limited to facial recognition on criminals.

II. Fighting Crime, or "Big Brother is Watching YOU"?

However, the FBI has also hinted that it might add photos of individuals under investigation, or individuals who appeared near high-profile persons of interest to the database.  The latter prospect has privacy advocates most alarmed, as it could land you on "Big Brother's database" without a single criminal act.

In fact, the FBI appears to be doing exactly that already, as some states now pass drivers' license headshots to the agency for future reference/screening.  The ambiguity surrounding photographic databases and facial recognition of law-abiding citizens has advocacies very upset.

Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Jennifer Lynch told the publication New Scientist that her nonprofit advocacy is concerned that the FBI is creeping towards civilian photographic databases with these efforts.  And Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union comments, "Once you start plugging this into the FBI database, it becomes tantamount to a national photographic database."

Big Brother is watching
The FBI has bipartisan support for developing facial recognition algorithms and databases to spot U.S. citizens -- regardless of whether they're criminals. [Image Source: Djibnet]

The prospect is a frightening one for several reasons.  First, some fear it could lead to an escalation in the "war on drugs", which already is responsible for the U.S.'s world leading imprisonment rate.  Second, some fear that it is a step towards an Orwellian system of crackdown on dissenters; after all, the trademark of George Orwell's iconic 1984 was "Big Brother is watching you."  Finally, such systems could easily lead to micro-scale abuses without sufficient transparency and regulation; for example an agent could potentially use the system to stalk an ex.

In short, there are many questions to be asked.  But Congress and the intelligence agencies are leaning towards pushing the program now, and shelving answers to those questions for a later date.  With the majority leadership of both parties on a federal level eager to expand domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens and throwing money at the objective, the plans are poised to rapidly escalate over the next couple years.

Sources: U.S. Senate, New Scientist



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Convenient America
By Misty Dingos on 9/10/2012 4:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
The ugly truth is that as American’s we are sadly ill-equipped to recognize that our privacy is being stripped away from us one shred at a time. Oh sure there lots of paranoid people that are all over this topic but try to find an average American that wouldn’t just roll over to any government agency that tells them to go to the mall now you have to pass through a metal detector and your picture will be taken at that point in time so that you can be more quickly processed the next time. What is the magic pill they give these people? Convenience.

Tell us it will help find terrorists, child molesters, dead beat dads, rampant traffic offenders faster and it will be law faster than the time it takes to go through the latest TSA scanner.

How is the TSA ramming people through microwave scanners? Convenience. It is more convenient than getting groped by the perv of the month TSA official. So we rush through our lives to get to the next plane.

We Americans are too in love with our little lives and as long as Big Brother just screws over people we don’t care about it is all fine with us. So when we wake up one morning we will have our government minder tell us what to do for the day but don’t worry there will still be 500+ channels of crappy HDTV to watch and the NBA, NHL, NFL, major league soccer will still be around. So many will be just fine with the newer safer and more convenient America.

But hey don’t think I am going to say that is the end of the world as we know it. At some point in time brave American citizens, who love the idea of freedom more than the idea safety or convience will realize that their parents or grandparents sold their souls for that convenience and safety. But it won’t be a deal that generation will be willing to sign onto. And the correction will cost more in blood and treasure than any American can imagine. If we would hold our government accountable to the people that elected it that future could be avoided but I imagine that would just be inconvenient for our little lives.




RE: Convenient America
By Quadrillity on 9/10/2012 4:20:34 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
At some point in time brave American citizens, who love the idea of freedom more than the idea safety or convience will realize that their parents or grandparents sold their souls for that convenience and safety. But it won’t be a deal that generation will be willing to sign onto. And the correction will cost more in blood and treasure than any American can imagine. If we would hold our government accountable to the people that elected it that future could be avoided but I imagine that would just be inconvenient for our little lives.


Hit the damn nail right on the head!


RE: Convenient America
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 9:55:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, its a whole lot easier to give up then get back.


RE: Convenient America
By MrBlastman on 9/11/2012 1:09:19 PM , Rating: 3
Give the Government an inch, they take an astronomical unit.

Our freedoms are disappearing beneath us and the ignorant just glide along in life, blissfully unaware of the cold grip tightening around their hearts. To them--it is an inconvenience to try and pay attention. "Why bother?" They reason to themselves. "Why bother when our own pathetic ignorant materialistic reality is more interesting?"

Well, it might be interesting for a while--until what they own is no longer theirs. Cherish this world while we have it as it won't be the same even a decade from now.

Just look at this guy:

http://www.businessinsider.com/former-marine-brand...

They are watching us. Everywhere. I'm not being paranoid, I just speak the truth. The nescient don't care. It doesn't affect them. They still have whatever they pocket so why bother changing the course?

Oh well. We might as well burn all our books--they aren't doing us any good.


RE: Convenient America
By chmilz on 9/10/2012 5:07:24 PM , Rating: 5
And yet come voting day, you'll put that mark next to Rep or Dem, instead of voting in someone that actually gives a crap about Americans.

America needs to learn there's more than two options, and those options are probably a hell of a lot better.


RE: Convenient America
By Quadrillity on 9/10/2012 5:22:00 PM , Rating: 1
We should have listed to George Washington about political parties; they are nothing but self serving and distracting. (man, two relevant founding father posts in one article! I'm on a roll today!)


RE: Convenient America
By Ammohunt on 9/11/2012 9:56:36 AM , Rating: 1
So we should vote for Roseanne Bar? Opinions are like assholes.


RE: Convenient America
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 9:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
The political machines decide who the candidates will be. We are a two party system so you are basically stuck with what they give you.


RE: Convenient America
By MrBlastman on 9/11/2012 1:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And yet come voting day, you'll put that mark next to Rep or Dem, instead of voting in someone that actually gives a crap about Americans.


Not me. I'm sticking to my oath of only voting for who I think can do the job. Lesser of two evils be darned! I wish more people had the nerve to do this. It might just change our outcome here.


RE: Convenient America
By Ringold on 9/11/2012 10:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
If the LP guy seemed to have a shot, I'd vote for him. He just needs about a billion dollars more of campaign contributions then I can afford to fork over. :P


RE: Convenient America
By TSS on 9/11/2012 4:31:51 AM , Rating: 3
Great post but it has one critical error.

It seems to allude to some time in the future, while i believe the end is already here.

Bipartisan support for $1 billion in domestic spying while those same parties couldn't agree on $1,2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years - while you're running a $1,2 trillion yearly deficit.

The fiscal cliff, a perfect storm of measures that when expire will knock US GDP down to -4%, arriving at the same time as a new debt ceiling debate, during a lame duck congress and president, And if we're lucky, a democratic controlled senate with a republican controlled house, the exact same situation that created the cliff in the first place.

An expense of $454 billion of interest on the national debt, after 4 years of negative interest rates (5 year TIPS is at -1,47%). With more then 50% of US debt being 3 years or shorter, that number was achieved once before, in 2008. $451 billion on interest after 2 years of 5% interest rates and 2 years of steady hikes. the national debt was $10 trillion in 2008, ~$14 trillion in 2011, $16 trillion in 2012 and growing.

Then again, maybe inflation will take care of that, since $16 trillion in 2012 was only $15 trillion in 2008. Did you know that if there was a foreign currency now as strong as the dollar was in 1913 before the fed was created, They could pay off your $16 trillion with just $691,389,063,482 of their money, or less then you spend on social security each year? Gotta love inflation.

Then again, social security might drag you down seeing as it's already costing more money then it takes in, an event not foreseen untill 2018 but it was spent sooner. It's now completly filled with $2,6 trillion worth of treasuries. Actually, considering those are being rolled over as much as possible and US treasuries run at negative real rates, it means the social security fund is also bleeding money and will require even more money.

Did i mention the stock markets are controlled by machines? Litteraly. Look: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/todays-mad-manipulat... . That's 1 millisecond. The average human response time is 200 milliseconds (meaning that's how fast you can hit a button).

Learned today that Obama shut down both yucca mountain and nuclear reprocessing, so now nuclear waste is just being held onsite with no longterm plans what so ever. Gotta spend more billions on solar companies though!

According to the WEF's global competitive's report, The US infrastructure is about as good as Qatar's, Saudi Arabia's or Malaysia's overall, and requires an additional $2,2 trillion in investment just to get it back up to properly maintained, along with more investments over the next decade.

Also flipping through the charts to find that info i saw the US, in "irregular payments and bribes", is lower then spain. Which gave me a chuckle. You do know that countries better then you include Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Rwanda, Botswana. You rank 42nd. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GCR_Report_2011-1... ,page 394.

Actually that report is full of gems. Judicial independance, as good as south africa. Favoritism by politicians, Tied with Etheopia. Wastefullness of govenment spending, 66th, tied with frickin Iran and lower then syria, pre-arab spring. And those are just the next 3 charts, out of 100+!

The labor participation rate meanwhile has fallen to 63,5%, or just as high as it was in 1979. So when you calculate unemployment off that number instead of the "Seasonally adjusted" official number, taking into account the population has risen, Unemployment wouldn't be the official 8,1% but a more probable 11,7%. And still rising. That also neatly shows you how hard the data is being manipulated (in the competitiveness report, transparency of government policy making the US is 50th, china is 41st).

I could go on and on. How is this not The End of the US? How could it possibly get worse, yet still work? I'd say you have untill january 1st 2013 until it becomes appearant the end has already come and gone, so prepare accordingly. IMO, if you can, get out and get out now. Otherwise get some gold/silver and a gun, while it's still legal to do so.


RE: Convenient America
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 10:00:11 AM , Rating: 2
Uhm, I think you have it wrong the machines don't manipulate the stock market. Wallstreet completely controls congress, who only listen to the people when they absolutely have to.


RE: Convenient America
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 9:54:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yup this country is moving far away from its founding ideology of limiting governmental power. Add the fact that the media is controlled by around 3 corporations and its getting pretty scary. The worst part is that americans still aren't paying attention.


RE: Convenient America
By fteoath64 on 9/12/2012 7:59:18 AM , Rating: 2
"We Americans are too in love with our little lives and as long as Big Brother just screws over people we don’t care about it is all fine with us. So when we wake up one morning we will have our government minder tell us what to do for the day but don’t worry there will still be 500+ channels of crappy HDTV to watch and the NBA, NHL, NFL, major league soccer will still be around. So many will be just fine with the newer safer and more convenient America."

This is called media brain washing. It happens on a massive scale in America alone!. Unique country in the world where such "media indoctrination" happens and still is very successful. Just look at the "evangelical Christians" in the US. They are responsible for recent wars that killed millions of innocent people and yet they go to church every sunday and do what ?. Oblivious to what they had done ?. The worse terrorists on the planet by deed done. They bought into the lies and deceit. The rest of the world can see that.


Citation Needed
By Ammohunt on 9/11/2012 9:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The prospect is a frightening one for several reasons. First, some fear it could lead to an escalation in the "war on drugs", which already is responsible for the U.S.'s world leading imprisonment rate.


I like how you casually insert your libertarian views into your articles. I don't expect objectivity here but can you at least try to make it not so obvious?




RE: Citation Needed
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 1:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
but, you didn't prove what he is saying is wrong.


RE: Citation Needed
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/11/2012 2:01:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I like how you casually insert your libertarian views into your articles. I don't expect objectivity here but can you at least try to make it not so obvious?
Humoring the troll (you) here you go:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarce...

quote:
The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in the world. As of 2009, the incarceration rate was 743 per 100,000 of national population (0.743%).[2] In comparison, Russia had the second highest, at 577 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world as 117 per 100,000, and China had 120 per 100,000.


It's unfortunate you are too incompetent to perform a simple Google search to determine this widely known fact before you started to make defamatory accusations of my objectivity or lack thereof. But given that you are either incredibly lazy, intellectually dishonest, or lacking in basic skills, your invalid and, frankly, insulting criticism is not surprising.

Here is what you should have done:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=us+world%27s+highest+incarcer...
(Thanks "Let me Google That for You")
quote:
I like how you casually insert your libertarian views

Oh, and since when was stating well-known facts acting as a libertarian? Are you suggesting in roundabout fashion that the libertarian party is the only facts-based party? :)


RE: Citation Needed
By MrBlastman on 9/11/2012 2:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
That was a spectacular rebuttal, Jason. I must say though, in all fairness to Ammohunt that I think he was pointing out the "drug" angle as the tie to the Libertarian platform moreso than anything else.

Sure, it is a known stance that they take but to me (someone who is a straight-edge), I fully fail to see that as a major detriment that could prevent me from voting for one of their candidates. As you say so eloquently,

quote:
Are you suggesting in roundabout fashion that the libertarian party is the only facts-based party? :)


as I have observed, they tend to be far more factual and less emotional than both the Republican and Democratic parties.

As you point out, we do have the highest incarceration rate in the world per one hundred thousand person group--I wouldn't fully attribute it to the war on drugs. Yes, we do have roughly 500,000 behind bars on drug-related crimes, this is only what, 21.7% of our population, or 4.34% of the global population of prisoners.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/2...

I argue that it is a function of two things, not one solely being the war on drugs:

1. Length of prison sentence--I think this is the chief culpable flaw of our system. We are far too quick to "throw people in jail" and for far too long here--with little regard to actually helping solve their problems. Our system produces hardened maniacs that continue to break laws. It should be the other way around yet the courts and the people don't see it this way.

2. To a lesser degree, people being imprisoned for using drugs and committing lesser non-drug related crimes.

It is a shame the Libertarian party bears a stigma to those on the outside through association to a pro-drug community. It isn't their only issue and belief, though and I wish people could see this. The media won't allow it. They're already bought by the two parties and they see little to gain by giving airtime to the others or even the independents.

We all suffer because of this.


RE: Citation Needed
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/11/2012 3:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure, it is a known stance that they take but to me (someone who is a straight-edge), I fully fail to see that as a major detriment that could prevent me from voting for one of their candidates.
Cool, I admire that.

I'm not straight-edge myself currently, but I have been during some parts of my adult life. Even when I'm not (as in the present) I tend to exercise moderation (Buddha's metaphorical "middle path") versus the majority of my friends who engage in varying kinds of excesses. It's just my own personal philosophy.

But as you said, whether or not you're a drug user should and does not dictate your feelings on legality of certain drugs.

For example my grandfather would smoke ten packs a day and used to drink a fifth a day (I am not joking), and yet had the nerve to regularly remark, "I don't know why in the hell people would want to smoke marijuana."

(And he was seriously angry about it, not being ironic/sarcastic.)

Ironic, to say the least.
quote:
as I have observed, they tend to be far more factual and less emotional than both the Republican and Democratic parties.
I agree with your comment wholeheartedly and wanted to add a bit on my political feelings/preferences.

I have no problem with Republicans, Democrats, or any other party. I've voted for politicians from both parties before.

Aside from civil liberties, one of the biggest things that concerns me is when political parties -- as both major ones have done of late -- conspire to regulate the market, turning it from a free market into a closed market where cartels own the government and use it to kill competitors.

To give 3 pertinent examples:
1. Teva Pharmaceuticals sells methamphetamine salts under the trade name Adderall. It is legal to purchase Adderall with prescription. But if you buy methamphetamine from an independent source (e.g. a street dealer) both you and the dealer can face prison time.
2. Mattel and other large toy manufacturers lobbied the government to adopt stricter regulation regarding lead in toys, but to exempt large shipments. Hence the public received little additional protection, but Mattel, et al. succeeded in putting many small toymakers out of business via extra regulatory fees, punishments, etc.
3. Apple Inc. recently won a $1B verdict, thanks in part to "patenting" an animation of a naturally occurring phenomena -- a transient response. But wait, you say, that's the patent system, not government. Well the patent system is a part of the government and that's why cartels (corporations) oppose patent reform via their bought representatives. So as a result Apple gets to likely ban much of its competitor's product line.

I do find the libertarian party to be the closest to my current political philosophy, in that -- as you eloquently stated -- it removes the "emotional" fallacies parroted by both parties from the equation, while supporting civil liberties and a truly free market.

However, I would be open to voting for any candidate or party who embodies these values -- truly preserving civil liberties and a free market.


RE: Citation Needed
By Ammohunt on 9/11/2012 10:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I am not refuting the facts in the article I am well aware of the incineration rates related to drug crimes since its Libertarian talking points. What I take issue with is the insertion of topics unrelated to the subject matter but in line with the Libertarian platform; of all the “could’s” Drug War was cherry picked. There are much more important implications with this technology then an “Escalation” of the drug war. It’s your website do whatever but don’t expect to close the credibility gap with people like me.


Sounds like a good idea
By kamiller422 on 9/10/2012 3:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
We can't expect investigators to be Luddites. It is important this technology not be abused. (Any method can be abused.) Technology can improve lives, criminal investigators included.




RE: Sounds like a good idea
By Flunk on 9/10/2012 3:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's quite possible, this would make it a lot harder for criminals to evade police and fugitives to evade capture. It just needs the right oversight.


RE: Sounds like a good idea
By Quadrillity on 9/10/2012 3:59:50 PM , Rating: 5
Didn't Ben Franklin have something to say about temporary security?


RE: Sounds like a good idea
By ViroMan on 9/10/2012 5:26:00 PM , Rating: 1
Indeed... something I hold dear and quote at least 1 every other month since it seems that subjects like this shows up often.

quote:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Better than warrentless wiretapping...
By inperfectdarkness on 9/10/2012 2:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
At least with this, I know it's happening, I expect it, and with some simple fixes, I can likely defeat it. I'd have to think that wearing a hoodie, sunglasses & a fake "child-molester-mustache" would probably make it darn impossible to ID me...if I chose to be incognito.




RE: Better than warrentless wiretapping...
By NellyFromMA on 9/10/2012 2:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Tech can see through your clothes, so throw that out. Yes, you must be scanned through a machien at this time, but you never know what's next.


By othercents on 9/10/2012 3:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
Just like Minority Report where if you are wanted by the police your face gets blasted on bulletin boards as it recognizes you. Otherwise you get advertisements of new products just for you.


Obviously this is the FIRST issue.
By Trisped on 9/11/2012 2:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
First, some fear it could lead to an escalation in the "war on drugs"...
Of course, who would want drug dealers to be caught before they can sell or distribute their drugs? Who wants criminals to pay for their crimes?

Obviously Jason is more concerned that he will not be able to get his weed or porn then he is about the increasing police state.




RE: Obviously this is the FIRST issue.
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/11/2012 2:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obviously Jason is more concerned that he will not be able to get his weed or porn
Thank you for your strawman argument, I'm sure that will help advance this discussion.

For the record, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I do not smoke marijuana on a regular basis and have never purchased it in my life. I am an avid runner, and smoking anything -- be it tissue paper or a psychoactive substance -- is undesirable as it damages lung function.

I don't blame you for not knowing that because you don't know me, but I do blame you for committing a logical fallacy by misrepresenting my opinion.

Do I support legalization? Yes. In my mind there is a need to regulate purity of drugs at a state or federal level, HOWEVER when it comes to substances the government has no right to tell people what to smoke/drink/snort/or otherwise ingest. It should focus its efforts on fighting actual crimes against others and treating addicts, rather than trying to fight human free will.

The risks of most drugs are widely known. Banning them just because they have adverse health or societal affects is as ineffective as any other form of censorship, in that people will simply find ways to defy the ban. People will either use drugs illegally, or simply seek out legal prescribed alternatives (e.g. people taking ADD medication as a legal alternative to cocaine/amphetamine).
quote:
Of course, who would want drug dealers to be caught before they can sell or distribute their drugs? Who wants criminals to pay for their crimes?
Drug dealers?

Oh I see, you mean the illegal ones. Because any major pharmaceutical company is a drug dealer. In fact many "deal" methamphetamine (an illegal drug on the street) as a legal prescribed medication (Aderrall) and pitch many other similar psychoactive substances.

Clearly it is logical to bloat the federal government to a massive size and lose tax revenue -- both of which increase the national deficit -- in order to preserve legal drug dealers' government-enforced cartel.

It's sad, but regularly people die from cancer, when their lives could have potentially been saved by available experimental drugs that the FDA currently prohibits.

Encouraging the government to play nanny and tell people what they can and can not put in their body is a sign of a society incapable of self-responsibility.


By Trisped on 9/12/2012 11:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yet again you miss the point.

The whole point of the post was that the first issue (or most important) was that this tech might be used to help the war on drugs.
What I was trying to point out, in an ironical way, is that you tend to run to sex and drugs as the first, most important, or only reason something is bad. In this case I expected the first problem with the facial recognition system to be risk of abuse, not that it would be applied legal to catch villans.

In answer to a few of the points you raised:

Most people who provide "drugs" which cannot be obtained without a prescription are called pharmacist or technician. Of course by definition food is also a drug, so my local grocer could also be considered a provider of "drugs", though most don't take the "physiological effect" of the drug name quite that far.
The slang term "drug dealer" is usually in reference to a person who deals illegal drugs.
These are all basic terms which can be easily Googled and checked, so the fact that you did not understand what I meant by "drug dealer" would be you, yet again, not understanding what is clearly stated.

As for your statement about government "... trying to fight human free will" government is a set of laws which all citizens must follow. If there are no laws, then there is no need for government. If there are laws then citizens have the option to exercise their "free will" to follow or not follow the laws. But, if they do not follow the laws then they must accept the consequences as the law dictates (go to jail, pay fine, etc).

So what laws should a government enact? It depends on your government, but in the USA the laws are suppose to be to protect the country and its citizens. Should the government need to step in and control the use of narcotics or other illegal drugs? No, people should be smart enough not to use them. Of course they are not. In fact, you are part of that group. So what? Why not let you do what you want? Well because it leads to others who are not knowledge about the harmful side effects to participate, causing irreparable harm. In the past you have implied that a person should know there will be issues, but it is impossible to know everything. As a result, to protect its most important asset, the government has enacted laws to protect its people form known hazards. Some of these laws were against the use of mercury in food products, encourage citizens to get an education, and to keep citizens on equal grounds. These laws were made in response to a growing problem, in an attempt to prevent it from destroying or damaging its citizens.

So yes, it would be nice if government did not need to pass these laws (on drugs or otherwise), but if humans could know everything and always do what is best there would be no need for government or laws at all.


big brother is watching
By Richard875yh5 on 9/11/2012 9:42:10 AM , Rating: 1
For those who feel high tech cameras should not be used, then maybe we should do away with DNA, fingerprinting, etc. Folks, that what we call crime detection advancements. That's been going on for as long as this country was formed.

Only the criminals have to worry. The more tech used in finding these criminals, the safer the remainder of the population will be. Criminals are getting more sophisticated and law enforcement have to also get more sophisticated. High tech is needed to make it quicker and more affordable for law enforcement. Unless you are breaking the law, you have nothing to worry about. You lived through DNA, which has been good for those innocent, you'll live through with high tech cameras.




RE: big brother is watching
By Jeffk464 on 9/11/2012 10:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
You could say the same thing about search and seizure. If your not a criminal you should be ok with the government searching through your house a few times a year, just to see what your up to.


RE: big brother is watching
By mindless1 on 9/16/2012 7:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Your statement is based on the assumption that the tech can't be abused which is almost certain to be untrue, plus the assumption that no one is ever falsely accused let alone convicted of a crime.

I haven't "lived through DNA", I don't get a DNA sample taken every time I'm out in public and doubt I've ever had my DNA taken with the possible exception of military service years ago. I also don't get fingerprinted everywhere I go nor do I have to show ID at all except in specific circumstances, circumstances which for the most part I had the option of declining.


Jason
By zippyzoo on 9/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: Jason
By BillyBatson on 9/11/2012 3:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
I call them his tangent posts or "cause of the day" ads....


essential liberty
By liberty1978 on 9/11/2012 1:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

B. Franklin

Love this quote




A billion for what again?
By Jalek on 9/12/2012 9:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
If they already have this in the UK, must they reinvent the wheel or is this for the additional storage capabilities? What about the 2 billion dollar facility being built in Utah? No room in the ridiculous amounts of storage that is supposed to have?

They have a list of wants, how long do they get this blank check for anything they can dream up?




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