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Privacy is a thing of the past

2013-07-18

We already have a surveillance state.  We have all heard about the government saving all the metadata from all of our phone calls and saving all the emails so they can browse through them at their leisure.  Few have heard the contention that the US Mail is also under surveillance.  I have been unable to confirm this, but someone has claimed that the Post Office saves images of the front and back of all US Mail envelopes, including First Class and of course parcels (for letter bombs.)

The next humiliation is the disclosure today that the police in an increasing number of cities and states are imaging license plates in selected locations and saving the data.  This information can be used to roughly track every vehicle on the road and build up a dossier on where any car goes.

So our emails, phone calls, letters, packages, and license plates are being monitored for security reasons.  The information lies dormant until someone comes under suspicion; at that point, the government can access it and use it to track, apprehend, and convict anyone.

When face recognition technology becomes sufficiently advanced, the cameras that have been set up in public areas (and private) everywhere will be used to track individuals wherever they go on foot.  The surveillance net will be complete.

Those who complain that such activities violate our civil liberties and right to privacy are missing the point.  These things are a fait accompli.  The systems are in place and in use, and with time will only become more universal.  The discussion now has to cover how we are going to live with these things.

 

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