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Privacy Communications

It's "1984" in Europe, What About Your Country? 1208

Posted by Cliff
from the orwell-was-only-slightly-late dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "A few hours ago, the European parliament accepted a proposal '...on the retention of data processed in connection with the provision of public electronic communication services...'. Summarized: any data (internet connections, traffic, email, file sharing, SMS, phone calls) of 450 million people of Europe has to be collected by telcos, to be used by governments in their fight against 'crime and terrorism' ... oh, and child porn, of course. In Germany, over-the-sea reports are limited and usually do not include the latest developments in law and order, but since Slashdot has readers all over the world, I would like to ask: how is the status of YOUR country in terms of anti-terrorism-laws, observations and such? Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?"
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It's "1984" in Europe, What About Your Country?

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  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:17PM (#14261289)
    It is a relatively modern Idea that Freedom is equal to Privacy. While the truth they are rather disjunct concepts. You still have the right of free speech you can still say whatever you want and just as long as it doesn't cause direct harm, (Like yelling Fire in a crowded room) you have the right to say it.
    But just recently the right of privacy seems to be implicit to your freedom of speech. With freedom of speech (At least the American ideal) you should be able to state your views without getting arrested for it. But it doesn't state that you can say it without anyone knowing that you said it.
    I am not saying you shouldn't fight to keep your privacy, but it is not taking away a right, it is taking away a luxury, that we enjoy. In many ways I want to keep privacy, because then we are able to say our views that can shake things up without breaking social norms of living in the real world. But on the down side as with any luxury, if we over use it we get comfortable and abuse it. Saying things that should not say and shake things up that if a person had a chance to think twice about it wouldn't shake up. Pushing society too fast is as dangerous as letting it become stagnate, and Luxuries like privacy should be treated well or could be forced to be removed.
    • by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:20PM (#14261310)
      I agree the concepts are distinct, but most people who value freedom are wary of "big brother" style governments that perform far too much surveillance on their own citizens, because that puts them in a dangerously powerful position to later use that information to restrict freedoms.
      • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:27PM (#14261370)
        Yes, but until people realize that they live in a democratic based nation, and should really vote for governmental officials who stand up for the values and luxuries they want to protect, even if they are not the top 2 front runners. We will live in a world where the longer government stands the more Luxuries we will loose, at a slightly slower rate that newer Luxuries are implemented.
        • The U.S. is a Republic, not a Democracy. However, we citizens of the U.S. can still try to vote for people who stand up for the values and luxuries we want to protect. The problem is that in order to vote for those types of candidates, those types of candidates have to run for office.
          • by belmolis (702863) <billposer&alum,mit,edu> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @01:23AM (#14262104) Homepage
            The U.S. is a Republic, not a Democracy.

            This is a false distinction. A Republic is a kind of democracy in that the power is ultimately in the hands of the people. What you mean is that the U.S. is not a direct democracy because the people who immediately wield power are elected representatives. Direct democracies are very rare and probably are only workable in small societies.

            • by tob (7310) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @03:10AM (#14262472)
              Republic (res publica) and democracy (demos kratos) just mean the same thing. The one coming from latin, the other from ancient greek.

              The inferred difference as if republic means a representative system and democracy a direct system is not something I ever heard before.

              In ancient greece they did have direct democracies in some states for some time. At other times they had elected officials and still called it a democracy.

              In Europe the difference between a republic and a not-republic is whether you have a president or a monarch. In .nl (as in many european countries) we have a monarch (queen) and republicans are those who'd rather have her and her family retire to somewhere else.

              These monarchies are still governed by democratically elected officials, and we still call them democracies, as we do republics like france and germany.

              Regards,
              Tob
        • Sorry but no.

          In the UK we have a 2 (maybe 3 if you laugh long shots) party system. All the other parties get no TV time and voring for any of them is a waste of a vote. I personally threw my vote away on one of these parties because I refused to vote for either of the main two (one was run by a slimy asshole and the other is the current government who are also slimy assholes).

          Honestly in the world we live in, 1 vote is worthless. People cannot compete with TV and any who try usually end up on the wrong end
    • by sirket (60694) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:25PM (#14261355)
      But just recently the right of privacy seems to be implicit to your freedom of speech. With freedom of speech (At least the American ideal) you should be able to state your views without getting arrested for it. But it doesn't state that you can say it without anyone knowing that you said it.

      If I call my friend up to chat about the old college days I absolutely have a right to privacy. What I talk to an old friend is ABSOLUTELY none of the governments business.

      I'm astonished at how some people in the United States act. NYC recently implemented random bag searches in the subway- only they can only search your bags and only before you get on the subway- if you don't want to be searched you can walk away (exactly what kind of terrorist this is supposed to catch is beyond me and a subject for another debate). What astounds me about this, however, is just how many people go out of their way to be searched. If the cops don't call you over to be searched you don't have to stop- I've walked past every time without being stopped. Some people, however, walk over to the cops, open their bags and show them the contents without being asked. I have no idea what society I am living in but I would love to find some place in this world where people actually have self respect and care about their rights.

      -sirket
      • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:43PM (#14261528) Homepage Journal
        What astounds me about this, however, is just how many people go out of their way to be searched. If the cops don't call you over to be searched you don't have to stop- I've walked past every time without being stopped. Some people, however, walk over to the cops, open their bags and show them the contents without being asked.

        You know... if you were a terrorist, isn't that exactly what you'd do? Get your buddy to distract the cops by showing them his bag while you walk on to the subway with the bomb in your bag.
      • by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:02AM (#14261650) Homepage Journal
        "What I talk to an old friend is ABSOLUTELY none of the governments business."

        Not even if you two are seriouly planning on flying planes into buildings or releasing sarin gas in a subway?
        • by sirket (60694) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @01:31AM (#14262148)
          And if you have probable cause then get a warrant and tap the line. But keeping a record of every call and communication that everybody makes on the off chance that a terrorist may have made a call? No way.

          -sirket
        • by imemyself (757318) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @01:41AM (#14262181)
          You know, really, I think the government reactions to terrorism have and will hurt this country more than the destruction of two sky scrapers and the loss of thousands of lives. A good quote someone here on /. I think has in their sig, says something like "Terrorists can attack our freedom, but only Congress can destroy it." Isn't that the truth.

          The more and more we limit people's freedoms, the more similar we become to the sick visions of people like Osama bin Laden. They want a world in which people have few if any freedoms, and where no one may dare diagree with Islam. We are moving in the direction of the first, and if you replace 'Islam' with 'our government', we might be headed towards that one as well.

          What I'm saying is that, while terrorist attacks are horrible and despicable, having a "few" people die from terrorist attacks is far better IMHO than giving in to those terrorists who love to murder innocent civilians in cold blood and volunteering to give away our freedoms. Granted, this may be easy for me to say, as I have not been directly, personally affected(no one I know has been killed/injured/involved) by terrorism, but I would really like to think that I would still believe this even if I had been directly affected. I'm sure that probably wouldn't be the case though.
          • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @04:48AM (#14262679)
            The more and more we limit people's freedoms, the more similar we become to the sick visions of people like Osama bin Laden. They want a world in which people have few if any freedoms, and where no one may dare diagree with Islam. We are moving in the direction of the first, and if you replace 'Islam' with 'our government', we might be headed towards that one as well.

            See, judging from what I've heard of their material, what they're wanting is pretty much what most slashdotters seem to be wanting - the US government to get it's nose out of their business. What they want is the US to stop interfering in middle-eastern politics, and letting them get back to killing/getting killed by the Israelis. I'm the first to condemn terrorist methodology, but really, let's not get into demonizing our opponents. It's stupid, irrational, deceitful, and it clouds the real issues.

            (Note to any outraged future posters: I am not endorsing terrorism, I am simply asking we look at their motivations analytically rather than emotionally)
          • Spot on! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @05:28AM (#14262785)
            What I'm saying is that, while terrorist attacks are horrible and despicable, having a "few" people die from terrorist attacks is far better IMHO than giving in to those terrorists who love to murder innocent civilians in cold blood and volunteering to give away our freedoms.

            Quite so. What this all boils down to is a single question that our societies must answer: 'is freedom worth dying for?'

            We certainly used to believe that the answer was 'yes'. Many of our ancestors died fighting various oppressors, be they warlike dictators or exploitative bosses or selfish aristocrats or slavers... They believed in freedom, and fought for it, and often died for it. Millions and millions of them.

            Now, however, we're cowards. We aren't prepared to die for freedom. We're prepared to give up every last precious liberty in order to slightly reduce the risk of a few hundred or thousand people getting blown up every few years.

            This is pathetic, and a horrible betrayal of what was fought for in the past. We're no longer prepared to die for freedom; we're prepared to give it all up to marginally reduce an already minor risk to our own precious lives. We suck.

            • Re:Spot on! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @06:52AM (#14263033) Homepage Journal
              What this all boils down to is a single question that our societies must answer: 'is freedom worth dying for?'

              Even that question isn't quite right, as non-free societies usually are just as dangerous as free ones, if not more so. Look at China, where the government performs mass killing every year and the murder rate is still high. The question could equally be put, "is non-freedom worth dying for?", which shows just how much of an obvious decision this should be.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 15, 2005 @03:38AM (#14262532)
          more people die by car crashes, diseases, normal crime, etc etc.
          Where are the billions spend to fight those?
        • by np_bernstein (453840) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @05:03AM (#14262719) Homepage
          In many ways privacy does protect that, and in a sense that's one of america's founding principals, that citizens reserve the right to become "terrorists" if the government gets out of hand. To the British, the american "rebels" were terrorists. This is the thing that scares me most about terrorism, it's persicuting an "idea" not a crime. The people who crashed a plane into the towers were MURDERERS -- who cares what their motivation is. It's like "hate crimes" - is it any worse to kill a random stranger than it is to kill someone because they're a certain race that you hate?

          Also, if the government had just cause to think that those two friends were plotting to crash a plane into a building, then they should go to a court, state for the record what they think, and why, and with a judge's permission tap the phone for a certain amount of time. If it turns out they were wrong, they should tell the person and destroy all evidence. They shouldn't be able to get a secret warrant and never disclose what/why the did to anyone.

          The whole idea is that there's supposed to be a balance. The balance is getting out of whack.
        • So whats the end game? This isn't going to work, so they'll double their efforts and try something doubly draconian and doubly futile.

          A well encrypted ham signal should sound like static, but with it you can co-ordinate attacks just as easily as on the internet. Encrypted letters have been used to wage wars since the greeks. A well designed script can see the transmission of a childs christmas list turned into a plan for a bomb by encoding the white space. There arn't the resources to monitor every human /
      • Amen (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RKBA (622932) * on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:44AM (#14261916)
        "... but I would love to find some place in this world where people actually have self respect and care about their rights."

        I have been looking for just such a place in which to retire, but without much success. It's ironic that the people of the Russia now have more personal liberty than we do here in the USA from what I've read. It's almost as though we're slowly reversing roles with them.

        Grand Cayman island is probably the place with the least governmental interference in people's lives that I've found thus far, but the cost of living is pretty high there judging from the cost of real estate.

        "...this government, swollen and arrogant with pelf, goes butting into our business...It checks the amount of tropical oils in our snack foods, tells us what kind of gasoline we can buy for our cars and how fast we can drive them, bosses us around about retirement, education, and what's on TV; counts our noses and asks fresh questions about who's still living at home and how many bathrooms we have; decides whether the door to our office or shop should have steps or a wheelchair ramp; decrees the sex and complexion of the people we hire there; lectures us on safe sex; dictates what we can sniff, smoke, and swallow; and waylays young men, ships them to distant places, and tells them to shoot people they don't even know."
        -- P.J.O'Rourke
        • Re:Amen (Score:4, Informative)

          by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @01:41AM (#14262186) Homepage
          It's ironic that the people of the Russia now have more personal liberty than we do here in the USA

          Russia -- where most press and all TV-stations are state-controlled.

          Russia -- where courts are in the President's pocket.

          Russia -- which uses air-bombers and heavy artillery against the very people, it claims are its citizens (although they disagree).

          Russia -- where regional governors are appointed by the President.

          Russia -- where the Communist Party is among the strongest.

          You complain about random searches in NYC subways? In Russia you are obligated to carry identification with you at all times and present it to any law enforcer upon request.

          Unhappy about racial profiling here? If you are dark-skinned (thus looking like a Chechen), you will be harassed and periodically searched on the streets in Russia. And not in some red-neck backwater, but in the shiny newly-rich capital of Moscow.

          If you are non-white looking -- don't go to St. Petersburgh (Russia's other capital -- the "sophisticated" one). Russian skin-heads have been attacking non-whites (Asian students primarily) there recently, with police looking the other way.

          ... from what I've read.
          Stop reading "Pravda".
      • by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @04:26AM (#14262642) Homepage
        If I call my friend up to chat about the old college days I absolutely have a right to privacy. What I talk to an old friend is ABSOLUTELY none of the governments business.

        You are absolutely right there.

        With regards to this new EU rule, the slashdot blurb of course doesn't mention this, but what they are going to store is the fact that you chatted to your friend between this and this time, but not the content of this conversation. While this is bad and stupid, it is not by far as bad as the blurb is trying to make it look.

        Supposedly this is usefull to get an insight into the conenctions between individuals who might be involved in terrorist or criminal activities.

        Of course, about all investigations resulting from attacks in the last half decade point at a lack of cooperation and not of information (usually the information was actually there), but who cares.
    • by paroneayea (642895) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:29PM (#14261391) Homepage
      I'll just summarize my fears like this: If you lack privacy, tyrants can go unchecked in power.

      And of course, without privacy, everything the citizen does is clear to the government, but the government can act without the same level of transparency.

      The government stops working under the whims of the people, and the people start working under the control of the government.
      We /need/ privacy in order to sustain a democracy.
    • PRIVACY == FREEDOM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by love2hateMS (588764) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:33PM (#14261438)
      You obviously never studied this issue seriously. The absence of privacy forces people to modify their behavior. The less privacy, the less freedom of behavior. It is not just illegal behavior that is suppressed, but any behavior that is outside the accepted norms.

      Lack of privacy is the single greatest threat to freedom we now face.
    • by Bobzibub (20561) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:37PM (#14261475)
      Utter tosh!

      Privacy allows one the right to think what one wants without a coersive government locking one up.

      When a government monitors emails, and builds networks of who knows whom, I find it extremely intrusive.

      Europe has history. If any of the evil governments that existed in it's past existed today, they would need about fifteen minutes to get a long list of everyone they did not like, (and those that communicated with them) and lock them up or worse.

      The "luxury" you speak of was in existance previous to the information age when governments could not track your thoughts, personal networks, banking information, health information and all the other info that they keep in large databases. Today, fridges and toasters are networked and will betray you, not simply a disgruntled family member or the neibour's kid. Did you know they keep track of what food you buy via your safeway card? That is "total information awareness" and it is not to protect you, but to protect your government from you. What did Echelon do to prevent Sept 11? Nothing. Terrorists used countermeasures and will continue to do so. They may be deranged fanatics but they're not stupid.

      Look at Iraq. They have government goon squads that execute thousands a month. (Morgues are filled.) Thanks to the information age, not are actions considered treasonous but thoughts also. An email. A phone call. It's OK until it's your ass. (Or knee cap or skull.) Your slashdot posting of 2002 may seal your fate.

      Don't be so foolish to assume that all future governments will be benign.

      In the mean time it is our responsiblity to build networks resistant to these policies.

      -b
      • by Zemran (3101) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @04:46AM (#14262675) Homepage Journal
        When a government monitors emails, and builds networks of who knows whom, I find it extremely intrusive.

        I agree with what you say and would like to further this arguement about a group of alleged terrorists, known in the UK as the Birmingham Six [bbc.co.uk]. There was a terrorist bomb and the police knew of some Irish guys going home to the funeral of a known terrorist. So they arrested those guys, as they must be terrorists if they know a terrorist, and made the evidence fit the guys they held. One of them died in prison before the rest managed to prove that the evidence was wrong. They lost several years of their lives and the real bomber went unpunished. In their minds all they were doing was going to the funeral of a guy that they grew up with in the village where they lived. They were not supporting or engaged in terrorism.

        With laws like this there will be far more of this sort of miscarriage of justice. You may not even know (I accept that the Birmingham Six knew) that your friend is a bad person but you will get arrested for association rather than crime.
    • by NotAnotherReboot (262125) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:39PM (#14261485)
      You can say any right is a luxury. People define what are rights.

      I suggest you read about Griswold v. Connecticut [wikipedia.org] for more information about the U.S. Supreme Court's take on the right to privacy.
    • by teromajusa (445906) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:41PM (#14261504)
      True, they are not equivalent, but that does not mean privacy is not a right. In the US its considered covered under the 4th amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated More on this here [state.gov].
    • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:30AM (#14261830) Homepage
      I am not saying you shouldn't fight to keep your privacy, but it is not taking away a right, it is taking away a luxury, that we enjoy.

      Looks like the Federalists were right.
      Aside from contending that a bill of rights was unnecessary, the Federalists responded to those opposing ratification of the Constitution because of the lack of a declaration of fundamental rights by arguing that inasmuch as it would be impossible to list all rights it would be dangerous to list some because there would be those who would seize on the absence of the omitted rights to assert that government was unrestrained as to those. -http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/a mendment09/ [findlaw.com]
      The argument that privacy is not a right is based on the fallacious idea that our rights are limited to those listed in the Bill of Rights. The 9th Amendment is pretty straightforward: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (Emphasis mine).

      There are only two possible rational interpretations: First, that all actions are rights unless that action is explicitly prohibited, or Second, that there is a mystical list of "other rights" floating around somewhere that nobody knows about, except obviously you, and maybe some other people in government.
      • by caitsith01 (606117) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @02:44AM (#14262405) Journal
        Unfortunately, the federalists were wrong.

        Here in Australia our constitution was based on the very principle you refer to and includes no individual rights other than freedom of religion and the right to a trial in relation to certain types of offence. To this day a bill of rights is opposed, mainly be conservative politicians, because "we couldn't list all of our freedoms" and "it would be unneccessary" and so on.

        Sadly, we have recently seen wave after wave of terrible, terrible legislation encroaching on the lives and freedoms of ordinary, innocent people. Refugees are treated like criminals rather than people who are likely to be seeking shelter and are detained in appalling conditions in the desert or on remote islands, potentially indefinitely [abc.net.au]. The original inhabitants of this country are marginalised and ignored [abc.net.au]. More fundamentally, every Australian is now subject to arbitrary and relatively unchecked laws relating to 'terrorism' which allow for extended periods of detention without trial and without a warrant. These laws are enthusiastically promoted by the police [abc.net.au] and security agencies. Australia has one of the highest rates of phone-tapping in the world, and also retains ridiculous sedition laws [news.com.au] essentially making it illegal to criticise the government too strongly.

        We have it worse than the US - at least you have SOME protected rights. We have none, and in times like these that means we are gradually losing them all. A bill of rights is essential in protecting basic freedoms [newmatilda.com], which are not inherent characteristics but human constructions and therefore must be protected by humans.
    • by alexo (9335) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @01:04AM (#14262012) Journal
      Well, sir, if privacy is just a luxury we can do without, would you mind sharing with use your real name, date of birth, full address, phone number, SSN (or whatever ID is used in the country of your residence), bank account numbers, a few choice passwords, etc.?

      No?

      Hmmm. How about the name, address, phone number and an accurate physical description of your current "significant other" and, while you're at it, please tell us how he or she is in bed, in as much elaborate detail as you can recall.

      Also no?

      Fine, Just take some digital pictures of your adorable children (or other pre-teen family members) in the shower and put them on a publicly accessible web page along with their names and the address of the school they go to.

      Still no?

      You know what, forget it. I'll just contact the establishments that have your personal info and ask them for it. Maybe install a tap on your phone line and a key logger on your computer as well and, just to be thorough, ask your cell phone company for some triangulation data.

      What? I can't?

      Bummer.

      Hey, not a problem. There's this individual, Joe something-or-other, who's desperate to get a date with my cousin. She says he's not very bright but still sort of fun to see him go out of his way to impress her. Lately he's been telling her about his job in some law enforcement agency and how they're tracking suspected terrorists and that they can do all those things I talked about without needing a warrant or "probable cause" or anything because, let's face it, those pesky accountability issues just made their job harder so they got a couple of laws passed to get rid of them.

      Anyway, I spoke to cuz and she believes Joe will do it if she's nice to him and pretends to be really interested in his boring stories. So you see, chum, not a problem!
  • s/billion/million/ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ResQuad (243184) * <slashdot.konsoletek@com> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:18PM (#14261298) Homepage
    Last I checked there were only 6 billion people on earth - so 450 billion people in europe in the last month would be a intrest feat.

    (On a related note - why do they have a "mail us if you see something wrong" when it doesnt do anything to email them)
  • Recommendations? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:19PM (#14261305) Homepage Journal
    Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?"

    The answer is directly proportional to how much money you have and how willing you are to spread it around.

    Funny? Yes. True? Sadly yes as well in most of the world.
  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linguae (763922) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:24PM (#14261341)
    Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?

    The moon, I guess (assuming that nobody else owns it). Let's face it, liberty is dying. Unless some libertarians, Goldwater conservatives, Ron Paul, socially liberal Democrats and Republicans (in the true sense of the word liberal; somebody who advocates freedom), and other liberty-minded people band together to take control from our power-hungry authoritarian leaders, the USA is going to turn into "1984" as well.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by deanj (519759) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:42PM (#14261512)
      Considering the way people freak out unless you speak "politically correctly" about darn near everything, we hit that part of "1984" a long time ago. It's the "thought police" straight out of the book.

      A great example of this are so-called "hate crimes". I mean, holy crap, crimes against anyone are "hate crimes". Are the "thought police" going to divine what's in someone's brain when they commit these crimes? It's that way today.

      Having to "not offend" someone by not using the politically correct term for something they might say is another example of this. I'm not talking about using derogatory terms against someone...that IS offensive.

      There are many more examples. "1984" didn't happen in 1984, but it happened shortly afterwards. It's a shame that more people haven't realized this already.
      • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by guygee (453727)
        Funny you should object to "hate crimes" but not to the "Patriot Act". Even the name "Patriot Act" reeks of doublespeak.

        On the other hand, tying a random innocent black person to the back of your pickup truck and dragging him until he is decapitated is far more heinous than your average crime of passion. Such crimes should be dealt with more harshly, the perpetrators are an especially dangerous type of psychopath.
  • Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lgordon (103004) <larry...gordon@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:24PM (#14261347) Journal
    Being an illegal Mexican immigrant in the US appears to meet all of your criteria.
  • Storage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luigi30 (656867) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:25PM (#14261353)
    So who has the storage space necessary to pull this off?
    • Sponsored (Score:3, Funny)

      by Craig Ringer (302899)
      "This legislation proudly bought to you by EMC, NetApp, and Sun"

      Probably not, but right now I do suspect those three will be partying hard.
  • by poofyhairguy82 (635386) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:26PM (#14261360) Journal
    Its easy to live without a Nanny state. Just move to a semi-populated rural area where there is a lower crime rate with less prying police. The long arm of the law mostly gets you with its fingers (the members of law enforcement lower on the totem pole) so if you move to a place where its too many people to casually look but enough people where there is not a high crime rate then you can live free. Thats why so many drug dealers and makers in the U.S. live in rural or suburban areas- they can get away with more there.

    Obscurity is the only true path to privacy.

    • by HangingChad (677530) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:37PM (#14261477) Homepage
      Just move to a semi-populated rural area where there is a lower crime rate with less prying police.

      I live in one of those places and in some ways it's worse than a data rich urban area. If I go to the store they know me and will mention that they saw my wife in there this am, she had the pot roast for lunch and said she was going to her hair appointment.

      Sooner or later you have to go to the co-op for something. After that someone will know you. The mail carrier knows where you live and what magazines you subscribe to. The police don't need to pry into your business because everyone already knows.

      It's really not any different, just lower tech.

      • That's what people don't get when they freak out about, say, supermarket discount cards. Until a generation or two ago, everybody knew all your business. We've lived in a brief window when population sizes got far enough ahead of technology that you had anonymity. Technology has caught up, and we're back to the way things have always been.
        • No, supermakret cards are totally different than you knowing the store owner in the country.

          If you lived in the country, where everyone knows everyone, there is a symmetry of non-privacy. Gus the storeowner knows you, knows your dirt. You know him and know his dirt. When your purchases are recorded on a supermarket scanner, you have no idea who sees this data, and you certainly aren't entitled to see the records of *their* shopping habits.

          In the country, everyone knows everyone, and you have at least a m
        • Technology has caught up, and we're back to the way things have always been.

          Except that, unlike a generation or two ago, the technology makes it possible for governments and businesses (and criminals) to dig through a lot of information rapidly, without having to bother to travel to your home town to talk to Joe at the market. It lets them "connect the dots" in a way that hasn't ever been possible before. Making up sets of dots that one might not want to have connected is left as an exercise for the re

  • Waste of Resources (Score:4, Insightful)

    by abfan1127 (784663) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:28PM (#14261386) Homepage
    It has been shown that slick monitoring of information does not protect citizens from terrorism. Monitoring the general public is such a large undertaking that funds spent doing that have far better places to be spent. If given the chance, the general public would not elect to do such a wasteful activity. It is ineffective, just as the current rules regarding airline screenings do not work. Knives and "weapons" still make it on the airline, etc. By monitoring the general airwaves, terrorists will use encryption. What then? Force all communications over non encrypted channels? What about bank transactions, etc? You can not protect the public from its self. Safety is relative, and its been proven that consumers do not want that level of "safety" for that price.
  • by jimijon (608416) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:29PM (#14261395) Homepage
    Until countries decide that the central banks are evil nothing will change. This is something that has been a very big issue historically. Most great leaders were killed going against the Central Privately Held Banks. They have complete power and now want complete global control. Only a very, very, brave leader will fight the Central Bank. Here in the US, our late President Kennedy issues US Bank Notes in direct competition with the Federal Reserve. They day he was assasinated they revoked them. This is by far the one issue that completely trumps all others. The central banks are responsible for wars, depressions, murders, and complete financial enslavement. Money may be the root of all evil, but the privately held central banks are pure evil.
  • New Zealand =) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tmasky (862064) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:35PM (#14261456)
    New Zealand is relatively good. I'm biased, I live here.

    One of the last attempts at privacy invasion that hit the media was a case of the postal service (which is an SOE) was gathering data on house conditions. This information was deemed to assist with targeted advertising, for a price. There was a large public backlash.

    On TV news, there were some quick queries put forward to members of the public. I'll never forget the American dude was simply said, "I moved to here from America to get away from this kind of stuff."

    The one thing worrying me is possibility of NZ signing a Free Trade agreement with the US. You get dicked when you do that. But we're quite anti-American here due to the Iraq war, so we may be safe for now =)
  • Clearly not the US (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:37PM (#14261470)
    On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to renew 16 parts of the "USA Patriot Act" that were set to expire at year's end. These include National Security Letters (basically search warrants the FBI issues itself without judicial review) and the ability of the FBI to obtain your medical records and records of library activity. Hopefully, the Senate will remember why the Constitution was written in the first place. Heck, some of this probably contravenes the Magna Carta.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:37PM (#14261471) Journal
    means each person gets 6 square millimeters of room, if I divided correctly. About a 1/4 inch square for the metrically disinclined.

    I've heard that Europeans are skinnier than Americans, but I think that's a bit extreme, don't you?

    RS

    • Not quite (Score:3, Informative)

      by XanC (644172)
      3,976,372 square km / 450,000,000,000 = 8.836382222 x 10^-6 square km / person.

      8.836382222 x 10^-6 square km = 8,836,382.22 square mm = 13,696.4198 square inches = 95.114 square feet.

      Still not a lot of land, but more than 1/4 inch.

  • exposure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 3seas (184403) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:39PM (#14261493) Journal
    Though I'm hardly old enough to remember this but only thru my parents and some very early memories, the propoganda during world war II about how evil to population of hitlers rule was.

    Today, thanks to the internet, we all know it was bull shit... that people of one country are just like the people of another... all having their daily living concerns.

    This whole terrorism blow up was not without a cause. You screw someone enough and they will retaliate or someone else will use it as an excuse to.

    So it is with the WTC..... and the trillion dollar bet... a stock market gamble that drain south east asia of their economy. and then the totally disconnected but some how magically connected via bush adminastration and threated media helping to bang war drums.....

    The point is simple... of the over 6 billion people on this planet, it is a small fraction of a percent that is totally responsible for the excuse of terrorism.

    Search the web for trillion dollar bet and "what the world wants"....

    And see what the few are doing to keep a much better world from us all.

    They are the real terrorist and as the deceptive do, they clain its someone else.
  • by nephridium (928664) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:40PM (#14261499)
    I consider this legislation doubleplusungood as well and I surely hope parent hasn't posted this from Oceania, because even posting anonymously won't prevent BB from persecuting him for thoughtcrime.

    This whole thing reminds me of ACDC's song "We're on a highway to hell", because... - oh hello there uniformed men - I was just posting on Slashdot, nothing to worry.. - aah let me go - neeed to keeep posting...

    --- Connection terminated by Miniluv ---
  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:52PM (#14261580)
    How do you capture this information.... do you try it at an application layer? You'd probably capture it at IP as you don't want to ignore TCP/UDP/other layer4 protocols. Do they expect telcos to SPAN all the traffic inbound AND outbound to some monster sniffer(s). You'd want to filter out the control (bgp,ospf etc..) traffic, but a 10Gb pipe (20Gb/s if you think about full duplex). If we used marketingmath whereby a 10Gb ~ 1GB...

    The largest EMC DMX (DMX-3) can handle approximately 251TB of storage. You'd fill up the array in ~70hrs (3days!) using ONLY a single 10Gb/s link. Remember that large disk arrays out there have interfaces that are 2Gb/s FibreChannel. So you'd need atleast 5 interfaces (in a perfect world once again), that were capable of 2Gb/s. So you can forget about SATA arrays, as those couldn't dream of this bandwidth.

    Oh yeah... how do you back this thing up... Fastest tape drives out there run 150MB/s (LTO-3) application throughput with compression.

    Good Luck...

    Your local SAN Administrator.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:12AM (#14261712) Homepage
      They're only logging connection information, not the actual contents.

      In your scenario where they had some big-ass protocol analysers (no mention of who's paying for this) it'd be able to log who sent email/msn/skype etc. to whom.. of course that'd be a shitload of data too... not to mention they couldn't log VPN traffic (so I could happily setup my VPN to sealand and send any message I wanted unlogged).

      Still completely unworkable IMO, but not as bad as your analysis suggests.

    • They're not actually requiring anything like that much data to be captured. The necessary data are:

      EN 16 EN
      a) Data necessary to trace and identify the source of a communication:
      [...]
      (3) Concerning Internet Access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony:
      (a) The Internet Protocol (IP) address, whether dynamic or static,
      allocated by the Internet access provider to a communication;
      (b) The User ID of the source of a communication;
      (c) The Connection Label or telephone number allocated to any
      communication enterin
  • by malraid (592373) on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:54PM (#14261597)
    ...Somalia. They've been without a central government for 15 years. Some say it's anarchy, some it's the libertarian dream. But it's not a police state for sure.
  • Use encryption! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by idiot900 (166952) * on Wednesday December 14, 2005 @11:56PM (#14261612)
    They say that there is a silver lining to every cloud. This is a pretty damn big cloud (as it covers all of Europe) and the silver lining is impressively small...

    But hopefully this will spur the use of encryption in all communications, with temporary key pairs. If you don't have your secret key anymore, they can't subpoena it.

    HTTPS by default is better than HTTP by default. (Though we'll have to deal with millions of self-signed certificates...)

    I can imagine the protesting now, by the way: cat /dev/urandom | nc $FOO.co.uk 9 to fill the databases with garbage and render the monitoring economically unfeasible.
    • Clueless! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021)
      Encryption will do fuck all in regards to this directive because encryption only acts on content. The data retention laws do not apply to content. They apply to who, where and when, not what:
      1. data necessary to trace and identify the source of a communication;
      2. data necessary to trace and identify the destination of a communication;
      3. data necessary to identify the date, time and duration of a communication;
      4. data necessary to identify the type of communication;
      5. data necessary to identify the communication de
  • Cry me a river (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kawahee (901497) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:09AM (#14261689) Homepage Journal
    Freedom is slavery.
    War is peace.
    Ignorance is strength.


    That's 1984. Not your laws.

    ...to be used by governments in their fight against 'crime and terrorism' ... oh, and child porn, of course...

    What exactly are we crying about here? Oh no, you can't download kiddy porn, wage war against the infidels and generally do stuff you're not supposed to in Europe any more. Who cares about privacy?

    Hiding nothing is nothing to hide

    The government doesn't really care what you're doing in your personal life, what you're doing with your friend tomorrow, and they're not going to bother following along with it.

    Don't do the wrong thing,
    Don't get arrested,
    Don't cry about it.
  • 1984?? (Score:3, Funny)

    by stox (131684) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @12:13AM (#14261721) Homepage
    We're behind schedule.

    Sincerely,

    The National Security Agency
  • Solutions ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bugmaster (227959) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @02:59AM (#14262445) Homepage

    I used to feel all idealistic and outraged about this, but by now I'm ready to face reality. Governments and media corporations are big and powerful; privacy-conscious individuals are tiny and weak. Most people don't care about privacy, because they simply do not understand it (and because they don't exercise their free speech rights anyway). After all, if you're not a terrorist, then you have nothing to hide -- right ?

    So, I am pretty sure that the erosion of privacy is inevitable. It will happen sooner rather than later. Question is, how can a tiny, weak individual protect himself from the Homeland RIAA anti-terrorist piracy-fighting taskforce ? I can think of a few solutions, but all of them are sub-par.

    • Move to a country where privacy still exists. But, the number of these countries is shrinking rapidly -- and, as Jon Johansen's case deminstrated, USA can still get you regardless of where you live. And of course, moving to a whole different country is a huge, cataclysmic lifestyle change; not everyone can afford to do it.
    • Encrypt everything. Encrypt email, surf through anonymizing proxies, don't use loyalty cards, pay cash, and live "off the grid" if you're really hardcore. Sure, that might work, depending on how much inconvenience you're willing to put up with. Unless you live completely off the grid, you still need to pay your bills, and your bills are traceable. In addition, the government and the media companies can simply make encryption illegal -- they have basically already done so in the USA and EU... So, you're a terrorist now.
    • Do nothing, and hope that your actions will be a drop of water in the ocean of data, indistinguishable from all the rest. That's what most people do, and they think it works. It doesn't. Modern search engines are quite powerful, and modern storage is quite cheap. The government/MPAA officials not only can find out everything about you -- they already do know everything about you.

    So... any other bright ideas ?

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitrothNO@SPAM5-cent.us> on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:29AM (#14264307) Homepage
    Come on, we're *far* ahead of Europe in moving towards 1984. We've got Goldstein, er, Osama, Bush, Rove et al are re-"purposing" why they invaded Iraq almost daily, the GOP has completely and totally forgotten every reason they gave for impeaching President Clinton*, and the media, at least until the last month, has almost exclusively reported what the White House and the GOP wanted, denigrating any opposition.

                  mark "I am not a number, I am a free radical!"

    * draft dodger
        smoked dope (ignore Bush & cocaine)
        lied to Congress
        sent troops in without proper equipment
        sent too few troops in
        no exit strategy
        nation building
        etc, etc, etc...

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

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