5 replies [Last post]
bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

I thought this article about how Khalid was caught was interesting.

How mobile phones and an £18m bribe trapped 9/11 mastermind

It refers to the use of "Echelon" a European based US operated spy system, that the NSA says doesn't exist.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-03-17 00:40 ]

Offline
Joined: 11/15/2002
Posts: 157
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

I read about it. intrusive government It saddens me that our nation is becoming like this. It is kinda like that movie Enemy of the State.

[ This Message was edited by: chechatonga on 2003-03-18 15:19 ]

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

I grew up with a party-line phone outside a small town. Visiting relatives in another town was material for the paper. If you sneezed, everybody knew about it. Anyone who grew up in small town America knows what I'm talking about. Granted, the thought of my activities being tracked by the FBI is more intimidating than the Presbyterian women's afternoon coffee group. But privacy has always been a subjective term in America. The only difference is that it gets a lot tougher to commit crimes in private.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

I look at large, non-public spy agencies as equivalent to chemotherapy. Chemo stops cancer (but sometimes doesn't). Powerful spy agencies stop national threats (but sometimes doesn't). Both are strong medicine.

Catching khalid is one positive outcome of echelon, if it in fact was used (or even exists?). Catching khalid (and perhaps ultimately osama) might not have been possible without echelon, likewise surviving cancer is usually not possible without chemo.

However, chemo can hit unintended targets (non-cancer cells) and without proper monitoring can kill. Likewise, powerful spy agencies can get out of hand and abuse the rights of citizens or "basic rights" of non-citizens.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

The information itself (or collection of it) isn't bad. What gets scary is if a corrupt individual abuses it for his purposes. Much of the data already exists -- every phone call you make, web site you visit, email you send, credit card transaction you make, etc, are all stored in different databases.

People don't seem to have a problem with businesses having access to the info, but don't like the government seeing it. Current discussion is basically an improved version of searching already-existing databases. Ultimately, it boils down to trust that our system won't let a corrupt leader rise to the top or let him misuse powers available to him. And that's a pretty hot topic.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-03-22 22:15 ]

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Trapping Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Quote:


People don't seem to have a problem with businesses having access to the info, but don't like the government seeing it.

People are leary of businesses having information collected about them with no say how the information is used, disclosed, or audited. Medical records, credit reports, social security numbers are all good examples of data that people give to businesses but want control in how the info is distributed and used.

True, there is more impersonal data like web site visitations that seem to draw less of an outcry, but this is largely because of the piece meal nature of those doing the collecting. However when one company starts linking together the disparate tracking of individual web sites there is a public outcry. DoubleClick was heavily blasted by privacy hounds a few years ago when they were going to start linking their "cookie" (widely used in on-line advertising) to personal information entered into partner web sites. Doubleclick backed off, because this literally would have been able to give them the ability to follow people around web sites, assuming the sites visited ran doubleclick ads.

Collection of information is not bad and is necessary to go about day to day life (seeing a doctor, doing a loan app, checking out a library book). However tying of information from these seperate pools by government or business is scary, especially if there is not public regulation of the entity doing the tying together.

Another thing to consider is that even if you trust the group doing the "tying of data", having this aggregate database is still not good, simply because it attracts computer criminals. The government has shown a terrible ability to keep unwanted eyes out of government computers in all but the most classified of information.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Where's thenail?redrider801/06/2009 21:06 pm
nuisance trappingHunterMan0892907/03/2008 07:59 am
My 3 coonsredrider207/23/2008 16:00 pm
trapping questions?Tyson1712/06/2007 17:41 pm
TENNESSEE FOX TRAPPING ???jonesklan71012/09/2010 21:52 pm