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Snippets #37, Tuesday, 19.Nov.2002     (ISSN 1530-9622)

 

_______________S N I P P e T S

_________________________from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door

___________________________________#37, Tuesday, 19.Nov.2002

_____________________________________________ISSN 1530-9622

 

 

__________CONTeNTS

 

 

_____0. Thoughts

_____1. Quotations

_____2. Ephemerae

_____3. New/Changed on My Site

_____4. Awards

_____5. References

 

 

__________0. THOUGHTS

 

The last few days have been interesting.

The big news today was that privacy rights are losing, while government surveillance is winning. The secret appeals court told the secret wire tap court that Ashcroft didn't need strong reasons to spy on Americans and that weaker reasons would do. In fact, the appeals court said that some of what Ashcroft wanted to do has been permitted since the 80s and that it was Justice lawyers who misinterpreted the law as protecting our privacy.

There were also more editorials on the Defense Department's project, run by Poindexter, to create a massive database so that the government can find out anything they want about everybody.

And, there were even a couple of interesting articles about technology to enable government to tell when a sex offender was about to offend again, and to enable companies to track your underwear.

The belief seems to be that privacy is not a "strong" right, but rather, a weak one. The belief seems to be that in this time, our government should be able to use a lower standard, that the need to protect supersedes the need for privacy. Perhaps it does, in some ways. But I ask now the same question that I asked when the airlines started asking the "two stupid questions" (did you pack your bags?). The question is a simple one: when will it end.

If the threat of terrorism justifies these changes, how do we go back? Will there ever not be a threat of terrorism? Was there ever not a threat of terrorism?

But there is hope. On every single airplane flight, I still set off the metal detectors, I still get wanded, I still have my bags searched. (It's a combination of the suspenders I wear and the metal card I carry with the Bill of Rights printed on it.) But though all that continues to happen, they no longer ask me if I packed the bag myself. There is hope.

It wasn't all bad news, though. Some interesting news emerged these past few days. For example, remember Rock-Paper-Scissors? Did you know that there is a World Rock-Paper-Scissors Society? Did you know that they just had their first Open International Championship? You didn't? Well, now you do.

As e e cummings said, the most wasted of all days is one without laughter. Sometimes you just have to wade through the troubling news to find the laughter.

 

 

__________1. QUOTATIONS

To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best.
          — William M. Thackeray

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
          — e e cummings

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::: You can see these and more in my Quotations section:
::::: http://www.JamesSHuggins.com/h/quo1/quotations.htm
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__________2. EPHeMeRAe

every day interesting “stuff” crosses my desk. Some isn’t important enough to put on my site in any permanent way. But it is interesting enough to put there somehow, quickly, at least for a while.

These are ephemerae: collections of temporary, transitory tidbits. 

NY Times (09.Nov),
"Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans":
An initial article about the Office of Information Awareness run by John Poindexter and the Total Information Awareness project. (You remember Poindexter. He was the guy who lied to Congress and said it was his duty to lie to Congress.)
»» http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html

Newsweek (15.Nov),
"Big Brother Goes to Washington":
A privacy expert explains how the government could use a new security law to spy on Americans.
»» http://www.msnbc.com/news/835798.asp?cp1=1

NY Times (14.Nov),
"You Are a Suspect":
A biting editorial by William Safire about the Office of Information Awareness.
»» http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/14/opinion/14SAFI.html

NY Times (18.Nov),
 "A Snooper's Dream":
NY Times editorial on the Total Information Awareness system proposed by John Poindexter.
»» http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/18/opinion/18MON1.html

Washington Post (15.Nov),
"Total Information Awareness":
Washington Post editorial on the Total Information Awareness system proposed by John Poindexter.
»» http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61653-2002Nov15.html

Information Awareness Office: Total Information Awareness:
The description of the system on the government website.
»» http://www.darpa.mil/iao/TIASystems.htm

NY Times (18.Nov),
"Appeals Panel Reverses Limits Placed on Justice Dept. Wiretaps":
A federal appeals court convened to review a secret wiretap court, orders the lower court to reverse its decision. It says that the Justice Department has the authority to spy more on Americans. Privacy advocates were generally disappointed.
»» http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/18/politics/19CND-COUR.html

Washington Post (18.Nov),
"Justice Department Wins Wiretap Ruling":
The Washington Post article on the appeals court ruling.
»» http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5286-2002Nov18.html

CBSNews.com (18.Nov),
"Feds Get Wide Wiretap Authority":
The CBS article on the appeals court ruling.
»» http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/08/23/attack/main519606.shtml

The Observer (17.Nov.2002),
"Surgical tags plan for sex offenders":
Britain considers requiring sex offenders to have an implanted chip that would continuously monitor not only their whereabouts, but also their heart rate and blood pressure.
»» http://www.observer.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,841827,00.html

RFID Journal (11.Nov),
"New Direct-to-Textile Washable Tag":
An article about the development of identification tags that can uniquely identify articles of clothing. Imagine walking back into the store and having them know that you bought the underwear you are wearing just yesterday, from their sister store across town.
»» http://www.rfidjournal.com/news/nov02/washable111104.html

National Post (18.Nov.2002),
"No illegal throws or you'll be disqualified":
Did you ever play Rock-Paper-Scissors? Did you know that there was an International Rock Paper Scissors Society? Did you know that they just had their first open international championship?
»» http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?id={957C1700-0BD8-4DDD-A850-4511F7F5C435}

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::: I have the same information and links to prior items at
::::: http://www.JamesSHuggins.com/h/eph1/ephemerae.htm
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

 

__________3. NEW/CHANGED ON MY SITe

Nothing new today.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::: I have the same information and links to prior items at
::::: http://www.JamesSHuggins.com/ephemerae
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

 

__________4. AWARDS

excellent Site Award from Abandon Adversity
[Nov.2002]
Your site is great. I've just spent all morning there and want to congratulate you on the find and thoughtful work you've put into it by sending you this award. (You can count the number of people I've given this to on one hand and still have a couple fingers left :-)
»» http://community.webtv.net/monkeypete1/MyHomepage

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::: You can see all my awards at
::::: http://www.JamesSHuggins.com/h/awd1/awards.htm
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

 

__________5. REFeReNCeS

Press release from Transportation Security Administration of 29.Aug.2002 announcing that the airlines will no longer be required to answer the two stupid questions when passengers check in.
»» http://www.tsa.gov/briefing_room/PressReleases/tsa8902.shtm

Metal card printed with the Bill of Rights
»» http://www.securityedition.com/

 
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