REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Watching Freedom Dissolve

POSTED BY: RUE
UPDATED: Sunday, April 21, 2024 13:53
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 1339
PAGE 1 of 1

Saturday, May 7, 2005 9:05 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


My post was far too long for most. So, here it is again, in a nutshell. (or see below)

To start, mandatory electronic drivers' licenses are now a fact of law.
An author for Government Computing News (a radical hotbed for sure) objected to them on technical and privacy issues.
The technical objections are simple: no encoding is required to protect the treasure trove of personal information found on each card. ANYONE who puts it through a reader has a copy of ALL of it. If you rent a car, get on a plane, or submit your ID to make a purchase, the person behind the counter can copy your ID. This is just a petty temptation for individuals, but there certainly are large-scale operations that make it their business to access your life.
In addition, there will now be large databases with no apparent rules for who can access the data, or what they can do with it, and no way for you to check to make sure your data hasn't been compromised.
At this point, YOU HAVE NO CHOICE. It's a done deal.

The second article basically said your employer can fire you for what you say at home, online, on your own computer on your own time - even if you don't say anything about the company. While the constitution may guarantee freedom of speech, it is only freedom from the government. Corporate interests can and do rule what you say and do in your 'private' life. So, only post anonymously, and find a way to hide the computer you post from.

Your freedom is being eroded by big government and big business working hand in hand, while YOU are being titillated with the runaway bride.



Quote:

http://www.gcn.com/24_7/tech-report/35391-1.html
Cyber Eye: National ID standards could create “ID theft kit” 04/04/05
By William Jackson,
GCN Staff

I wrote last month that the State Department was making a mistake by leaving personal data stored on electronic passports unprotected. Congress is contemplating a similar mistake in its national standards for state ID cards.

Title II of the Real ID Act of 2005 (HR 418, passed by the House in February and now pending in the Senate) establishes minimum requirements for driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards. The usual personal data, including name, address, identification number and digital photo, must be put in a machine-readable format. What is missing are any requirements for encryption or other security on the data, or any restrictions on who could access it or how it could be used.

The bill also would require any state that wanted to receive federal grants to pay for the program (and what state doesn’t want federal money?) to make databases of this information available to all other states. Again, there are no requirements for security or restrictions on how the data could be used.

Richard Hunter, research director and Executive Program fellow of Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., said the new card would amount to an “ID theft kit.”

“In 2005 it is a bad idea to demand data from a person without stipulating how that data can be used,” Hunter said. “That is just not acceptable.”

The data is not that different from what already is included on most driver’s licenses. But cards today usually have this data only in printed form, with maybe some supplemental information on a magnetic strip. Making all of the data, including a digital photo, machine-readable means all of the data will be available to anyone with a reader.

Digital data is different from printed information. Printed information can be verified with a glance. Reading digital data provides the reader with a copy of the data.

Handing a bank teller or a bartender a driver’s license to verify your identity or age is minimally invasive. But if someone swipes the card to verify it, all of your personal data could be captured. It now is out of your control or the control of the state that issued the card.

The difference between looking and machine reading is not trivial. You might become uneasy if you saw the bartender copying your personal information from your driver’s license by hand—and that would not be an efficient way to gather data. But a quick swipe of customers’ cards could rapidly build a database with real value. Enough value to tempt a company to collect the data and sell it. To anybody who wants it. For any reason at all.

That scenario would be completely legitimate under the Real ID Act, which doesn’t begin to address the potential for theft and abuse of this data. Recent high-profile cases of the loss, theft and fraudulent acquisition of personal information that has been legitimately collected underscore the risks of this type of business.

Maybe the Bank of America, ChoicePoint and LexisNexis incidents only show that the genie already is out of the bottle. But I prefer a more optimistic view. I don’t think it is too late to protect personal information, and an essential place to do this is our driver’s licenses. If Congress is ready to make these licenses a de facto national ID, it must at a minimum en- crypt the data, define who can use it and take steps to ensure that the data is not misused.


© 1996-2005 Post-Newsweek Media, Inc.

Quote:


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/18/technology/ 18blog.html?th&emc=th

April 18, 2005
When the Blogger Blogs, Can the Employer Intervene?
By TOM ZELLER Jr.

There are about 10 million blogs out there, give or take, including one belonging to Niall Kennedy, an employee at Technorati, a small San Francisco-based company that, yes, tracks blogs.

Like many employees at many companies, Mr. Kennedy has opinions, even when he is not working. One evening last month, he channeled one of those off-duty opinions into a satiric bit of artwork - an appropriation of a "loose lips sink ships" World War II-era propaganda poster altered to provide a harsh comment on the growing fears among corporations over the blogging activities of their employees. He then posted it on his personal Web log.

But in a paradoxical turn, Mr. Kennedy's employer, having received some complaints about the artwork, stepped in and asked him to reconsider the posting and Mr. Kennedy complied, taking the image down.

"The past day has been a huge wake-up call," Mr. Kennedy wrote soon afterward. "I see now that the voice of a company is not limited to top-level executives, vice presidents and public relations officers."

As the practice of blogging has spread, employees like Mr. Kennedy are coming to the realization that corporations, which spend millions of dollars protecting their brands, are under no particular obligation to tolerate threats, real or perceived, from the activities of people who become identified with those brands, even if it is on their personal Web sites.

They are also learning that the law offers no special protections for blogging - certainly no more than for any other off-duty activity.

As Annalee Newitz, a policy analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group in Washington, put it, "What we found is there really is quite a bit of diversity in how employers are responding to blogging."

A rising tide of employees have recently been reprimanded or let go for running afoul of their employers' taste or temperament on personal blogs, including a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines who learned the hard way that the carrier frowns on cheeky photos while in uniform and a Google employee who mused on the company's financial condition and was fired.

Some interpreted these actions as meaning that even in their living rooms, even in their private basement computer caves, employees are required to be at least a little bit worried about losing their jobs if they write or post the wrong thing on their personal Web logs.

"I would have expected that some of the louder, more strident voices on the Internet would have risen up in a frenzy over this," said Stowe Boyd, the president of Corante, a daily online news digest on the technology sector. "But that didn't happen."

In Mr. Boyd's opinion, everything about what Mr. Kennedy did was protected speech. The use of trademarks was fair use in a satirical work, Mr. Boyd said, and it seemed unlikely that the company would be somehow liable for the off-duty actions of an employee, as Technorati executives argued. It was, in Mr. Boyd's eyes, an indication that corporate interests were eclipsing individual rights.

"I don't know what else to say," he declared. "I'm astonished."

But Ms. Newitz and others have cautioned that employees must be careful not to confuse freedom of speech with a freedom from consequences that might follow from what they say. Indeed, the vast majority of states are considered "at will" states - meaning that employees can quit, and employers can fire them, at will - without evident reason (barring statutory exceptions like race or religion, where discrimination would have to be proved).

"There really are no laws that protect you," Ms. Newitz said.

Martin H. Malin, a professor of law and director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, said there were only a few exceptions.

"It depends on what the blog is," he said, "what the content is, and whether there's any contractual protection for the employee."

Those who work for the United States Postal Service, for instance, or a local sanitation department may have some special blogging privileges. That is because, depending on the circumstances, the online speech of public employees can be considered "of public concern," and enjoys a measure of protection, Professor Malin explained.

Employees protected under some union contracts may also be shielded from summary dismissal for off-duty activities, at least without some sort of arbitration. "Lifestyle law" trends of the late 1980's and early 90's - sometimes driven by tobacco and alcohol lobbies - created state laws that protected employees from being fired for engaging in legal, off-duty activities, though no one is likely to be fired simply for blogging, but rather for violating some policy or practice in a blog.

And bloggers who are neither supervisors nor managers and who can demonstrate that they are communicating with other workers about "wages, hours or working conditions" may warrant some protection under the National Labor Relations Act, Professor Malin said - even in nonunion enterprises.

None of this, of course, answers the question of where the status of employee ends and that of private citizen begins.

Some companies, like Sun Microsystems, have wrapped both arms around blogging. Sun provides space for employees to blog (blogs.sun.com), and while their darker impulses are presumably kept at bay by the arrangement, there are hundreds of freewheeling and largely unmonitored diaries supported by the company.

Microsoft, too, has benefited from the organic growth of online journaling by celebrity geeks now in its employ, like Robert Scoble, whose frank and uncensored musings about the company have developed a loyal following and given Microsoft some street credibility.

But other companies are seeing a need for formalized blogging policies.

Mark Jen, who was fired from Google in January after just two weeks, having made some ill-advised comments about the company on his blog (Google would not comment on Mr. Jen's dismissal, but confirmed that he no longer works for it), is now busy helping to draft a blogging policy for his new employer, Plaxo, an electronic address book updating service in Mountain View, Calif.

"It was a very quick education for me at Google," Mr. Jen said. "I learned very quickly the complexities of a corporate environment."

With Plaxo's blessing, Mr. Jen is soliciting public comment on the new blogging policy at blog.plaxoed.com.

Most of the points are the kinds of common-sense items that employees would do well to remember, particularly if they plan on identifying themselves as employees in their blogs, or discussing office matters online: don't post material that is obscene, defamatory, profane or libelous, and make sure that you indicate that the opinions expressed are your own.

The policy also encourages employee bloggers to use their real names, rather than attempting anonymity or writing under a pseudonym.

Bad idea, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Two weeks ago, the group published a tutorial on "how to blog safely," which included tips on avoiding getting fired. Chief among its recommendations: Blog anonymously.

"Basically, we just want to caution people about how easy it is to find them online," Ms. Newitz said, "and that they are not just talking to their friends on their blogs. They're talking to everyone."

But does that means that Mr. Kennedy, a short-timer, a product manager and by no means an executive at Technorati, carries the burden of representing the company into his personal blog?

Technorati's vice president for engineering, Adam Hertz, responded: "It would be antithetical to our corporate values to force Niall to do anything in his blog. It's his blog."

Yet with the spread of the Internet and of blogging, Mr. Hertz said, it would be foolish for companies to not spend some time discussing the art of public communications with their employees, and even train and prepare lower-level staff for these kinds of public relations situations.

That said, Mr. Hertz stressed that the company had no interest in formalizing any complicated policies regarding an employee's activities outside the office.

"I had a high school teacher," he recalled, "who used to say 'I have only two rules: Don't roller-skate in the hallway and don't be a damn fool.' We really value a company where people can think for themselves." (as long they they have double-plus good thoughts)

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company



NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 10:21 AM

SGTGUMP


"When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere."

-Robert A. Heinlein


That's why I like Firefly so much. It kind of gives me hope.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2005 4:22 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Makes me think of the old Dead Kennedys album, "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death". The only way you can have credit cards, quick credit checks, mortgage approvals, online purchases, etc. is to have your information widely available. Otherwise you could rip folk off right and left. Most of the info mentioned in the Real ID Act is already out there if someone is willing to spend a few minutes on the net to find it. If you want to opt out of this, cancel all your credit cards and just deal in cash. BTW, there's nothing in the bill to prevent individual states (who have to implement the ID) from providing encryption or other security.

As for employers checking what you say on a blog site, is that so much different from you standing out in front of your employer's office with a bullhorn and telling people not to deal with them just because you disagree with some of their policies? First Amendment rights apply to control of free speech by the government. Your boss can still fire you for inappropriate behavior. Choose who you want to work for or be careful.

ps.

You have some responsibility for maintaining your individual level of freedom. There are plenty of sources of information out there to show you how to opt out of the system. It just takes a bit more work on your part. Freedom isn't free.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2005 1:35 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Ah Geezer- ever the defender of the police, corporations, state, and military! Here are REAL CASES about coporate abuse of power:

-------------------------------
CASE ONE
I divorced my husband, and as part of the settlement he left me the house. One year later, I find that my house is being re-possessed. It turns out that my ex-husband took out several loans on my property by forging my signature on the papers... and of course being the improvident alocoholic that caused the divorce in the first place, he didn't make the mortgage payments.

The forgery was really a bad job- even the most cursory comparison to an exemplar would have shown that was not my real signature. So I take the lending bank to court, arguing that I should not be held liable for a fradulent contract that the bank itself should have caught if they were performing their job diligently. The State Appeals Court rules against me, arguing that that it is MORE IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN A BUSINESS-FRIENDLY milieu than to do justice in my individual case.

----------------------------
CASE TWO
I work for a clothing manufacturer. But I have not been paid my full wages for the past three weeks running, and I'm rapidly running out of money. I've talked to my boss about it each week, but today's paycheck is- once again-short. The state labor board takes too long to resolve my complaint. So I steal an equivalent amount of underwear, worth about $300.

The corporation is charged with a misdemeanor and is allowed to pay a $100 fine. I am charged with a felony and spend six months in prison because stealing from a corporation in an automatic felony, but a corporation stealing from me is a misdemeanor unless it totals $500 or more.
------------------------------------

CASE THREE
An aerospace company suspects me of a drug habit. They go to my LOCKED car which was parked OFF COMPANY PROPERTY, break into it, find a pipe (Which they asume is for non-tobacco use) and fire me. I take them to court, arguing that I have a right to privacy off company property. The Supreme Court rules against me, citing that my right to privacy protects me from the government, but not from corporations because "they have a financial interest" in my lifestyles.

Of course, if I tried something like that (even if I had a financial interest) I'd be charged with breaking and entering.
--------------------------------


One of the things that our LAWS are set up for is to protect individual freedom. The rise of the corporation and the various mechanisms that corporations now have to track and reward (or punish) your speech, spending habits, movement, and lifestyle were never envisioned by the Founding Fathers. However, I find it difficult to believe that they would condone a system that gives economically all-powerful entities LEGAL advantages over less-powerful individuals. The obvious solution is to change the laws to protect individuals or AT LEAST put them on equal legal footing with business interests. I suppose that is too obvious, too RADICAL, too freedom-oriented for some people to envision. And BTW Geezer- the Benito Moussolini version of fascism was very much as you espouse- government in service to corporations.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2005 6:06 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Ah Geezer- ever the defender of the police, corporations, state, and military!




Not really. Just noting that, for good or ill, our society provides lots of methods for others to get and use our personal information. Sometimes they have a legitimate interest, such as credit checks, security, etc. Sometimes a $500.00 charge from a Wal-Mart in Quebec shows up on your Visa statement when you've never been to Quebec(ask me how I know). The information genie is out of the bottle, and isn't going back in. You just have to decide how you want to deal with it. As I noted, there are methods for opting out of the system, but they are neither easy or always legal.

As to the bosses, sorry you've had such a run of bad luck; what with the foreclosure, the jail term, and the car breakin. Those sure sound like abuses to me. They don't relate very directly to the topic at hand, though.

Note in the blogging article Rue quoted that some companies, like Sun and Plaxo, are setting up blogging rules and even providing sites for employee use. Bosses actually do have an interest in how their employees reflect on their company, and deal with it in different ways. The employee also has some responsibility to look into the employer's record and policies before taking a job, or deciding to blog against them.


"Keep the Shiny side up"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2005 9:44 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Not really

Geezer- Yes, really.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2005 9:56 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by sgtgump:
That's why I like Firefly so much. It kind of gives me hope.

That is exactly how I feel. Here is a bunch of people who would rather live the inconveniences (and dangers) of space, take complete responsibility for whether they live or die, than to live under the comfortable heel of the Alliance.

Love the quote too.

Can't Take My Gorram Sky

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 2:51 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


My post was far too long for most. So, for anyone who reads threads from the bottom up, here it is again, in a nutshell.

To start, mandatory electronic drivers' licenses are now a fact of law. An author for Government Computing News (a radical hotbed for sure) objected to them on technical and privacy issues.
The technical objections are simple: no encoding is required to protect the treasure trove of personal information found on each card. ANYONE who puts it through a reader has a copy of ALL of it. If you rent a car, get on a plane, or submit your ID to make a purchase, the person behind the counter can copy your ID. This is just a petty temptation for individuals, but there certainly are large-scale operations that make it their business to access your life.
In addition, there will now be large databases with no apparent rules for who can access the data, or what they can do with it, and no way for you to check to make sure your data hasn't been compromised.

The second article basically said your employer can fire you for what you say at home, online, on your own computer on your own time - even if you don't say anything about the company. While the constitution may guarantee freedom of speech, it is only freedom from the government. Corporate interests can and do rule what you say and do in your 'private' life. So, only post anonymously, and find a way to hide the computer you post from.

Your freedom is being eroded by big government and big business working hand in hand, while YOU are being titillated with the runaway bride.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 3:53 AM

HARDWARE


I find it wonderfully ironic that the new bankruptcy law makes it much harder for people who have had financial setbacks to declare bankruptcy and escape their contracted obligations but United Airlines has been allowed to escape their contracted obligations to their pensioners.

Once again corporations getting benefits we mere citizens are not entitled to.

The more I get to know people the more I like my dogs.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 6:27 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Your employer can fire you for what you say at home, online, on your own computer on your own time - even if you don't say anything about the company. While the constitution may guarantee freedom of speech, it is only freedom from the government. Corporate interests can and do rule what you say and do in your 'private' life.


And some people can think of a dozen rationalizations why it's all okay. Other people kid themselves into thinking they can do the "Serenity" thing (operate under the radar)... sort of forgetting that "moving out a little farther" isn't an option under corporate globalization.


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 8:13 PM

PIRATEJENNY


Quote:

To start, mandatory electronic drivers' licenses are now a fact of law.


your right when you say watching our feedoms dissolve, because thats exactly what we are doing , watching!!

our rights and our freedoms are systematically being taken away from us..its happening right now..little by little they are going to take it away , one day and from the rate they are going it might be anywhere from 2-5 years we are going to wake up and say..how did this happen..they will take away a right here , then a right there...and people will grumble and complain and be in denial. but about the time when people really are scared thats when its going to be to late.

the facts are until these laws start to really effect the middle class in this country , we are not really going to see any concern, and by then they'll have everyone so scared and blinded that I doubt if any action is going to have an effect, thats part of the main reason to take away our rights,

I read about all of the stuff thats happening right now in a book called Behold the Pale Horse, I read this book years ago..and I swear everything thats happening now is in that book.

what can one say to people out there.keep living in denial...keep telling yourself that its all going to be ok, keep putting your trust in the government , keep believing the lies, keep being distracted by the T.V or the lates fashion or fad. ignore the warning that the ship is going down

Welocme to the New World Order!!

this national I.D card is defintely the nail in the cofin..the alarm bells are going off but is anyone really listening!!

I actually think some people are sticking their fingers in their ears and sayig la,la,la ,la!!

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, April 21, 2024 1:53 PM

JAYNEZTOWN

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
The Thread of Court Cases Trump Is Winning
Wed, May 22, 2024 19:05 - 30 posts
Galaxy Day? Or Universe Day?
Wed, May 22, 2024 19:01 - 7 posts
Elections; 2024
Wed, May 22, 2024 13:50 - 2524 posts
In the garden, and RAIN!!! (2)
Wed, May 22, 2024 13:05 - 3748 posts
End of the world Peter Zeihan
Wed, May 22, 2024 13:03 - 73 posts
Olympics. Good idea, bad idea?
Wed, May 22, 2024 09:57 - 46 posts
Obama's Bioweapons Lab in Ukraine
Wed, May 22, 2024 09:43 - 25 posts
Electoral College, ReSteal 2024 Edition
Wed, May 22, 2024 09:33 - 8 posts
Matthew Perry Drowned in Jacuzzi
Wed, May 22, 2024 08:26 - 26 posts
Russia Invades Ukraine. Again
Wed, May 22, 2024 08:13 - 6528 posts
Vaccinations, Pt 2
Wed, May 22, 2024 07:51 - 167 posts
James Carville figures out on his 80th Birthday that he doesn't matter
Wed, May 22, 2024 07:42 - 6 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL