Big storage is watching you

Big storage is watching you

Summary: Kudos to Larry Dignan for an informative post on the system that caught NY governor Eliot Spitzer canoodling with a prostitute. Modern information technology enables 24 hour surveillance of every citizen.

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Kudos to Larry Dignan for an informative post on the system that caught NY governor Eliot Spitzer canoodling with a prostitute. Modern information technology enables 24 hour surveillance of every citizen. Should we care?

Of course not. Every citizen is a potential terrorist. You want to stop terrorists, don't you?

If you have nothing to hide . . . Cell phone Call Detail Records (CDR) track location through the cell location. GPS-enabled phones add even more detail.

GPS-enabled cars support remote speed monitoring. No need for photo radar - you'll get a ticket by mail. The correlation of your phone GPS and car GPS will place you at the scene. The state will sell the information to insurance companies. Those revenues plus fines will pay for the surveillance.

All your phone calls can easily be - and quite possibly are - being monitored right now by NSA computers. And your emails. Bank accounts. Credit cards. ATM withdrawals. Online payments and purchases.

Just like Eliot Spitzer.

A database tracks the source and destination address of every packet you send or receive. VoIP calls can be monitored too.

EZpass electronic toll collection records? Of course - they've already been used in divorces to prove spousal culpability.

Personal responsibility is a good thing So take some. Don't do anything illegal, suspicious, embarrassing or that someone might not like and you'll be fine.

Milwaukee mayoral candidate Marvin Pratt's bill-paying habits were revealed by a utility company employee. He lost the race. The employee lost their job. But is that fair? After all, Mr. Pratt was the one who wasn't paying his bills.

That isn't the only creative use of utility company billing records:

A landlord snooped on tenants to find out information about their finances. A woman repeatedly accessed her ex-boyfriend's account after a difficult breakup. Another obtained her child's father's address so she could serve him court papers.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Domestic surveillance is a time-hallowed practice in Washington DC. The longtime director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, curried

. . . favor with Presidents by using agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to gather political information. The committee staffs report shows that Hoover willingly complied with improper requests from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. He gratuitously offered political intelligence to Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman, but both seemed unimpressed.

In all these services, offered or actually performed, there was also the implicit signal that Hoover could find out almost anything and even Presidents should handle him with care. He ran the agency for 48 years and was seven years beyond the mandatory federal retirement age when he died in office on May 2,1972.

That was then, this is now Of course, no President today would use such information to dispose of political rivals. That would be wrong.

You can trust the United States Government, the several States, and county and municipal governments, as well as insurance, telco, healthcare and media companies to only do what is right. In a competitive business climate their first concern is you, the customer. If they don't please you - or enough of you - they are out of business.

The Storage Bits take Thomas Jefferson said "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" but he was wrong.

Liberty means freedom. Freedom means choices. Some choices will be bad and must be exposed so all can learn not to repeat them.

Robin Harris says "Eternal surveillance is the price of safety." You want your children safe, don't you? Trust the government to protect you. After all, its their job.

Comments welcome, of course.

Topics: Mobility, Government, Government US, Hardware, Storage, Telcos

About

Robin Harris has been a computer buff for over 35 years and selling and marketing data storage for over 30 years in companies large and small.

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97 comments
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  • blah blah blah

    blah. blah. it's the information age. get over it. or let's get rid of all data...yeah, that should work.
    NotOnYourLife2
    • READ this ENTIRE blog carefully

      don't just comment on the WRITER's viewpoint !!
      gvision
    • I RE-emphrasize, READ entire blog

      don't just comment on the writer's viewpoint !
      gvision
    • Kind of slow eh?

      Missed the point? thank god we got a place for trouble makers to bad we don't know what a trouble maker is what he did and where he goes for how long. But rest assures guilty or innocent wont matter. Feel safer?
      Altotus
  • Capitalism becomes communism

    Whilst Penelope and Rupert make off with your spoils.
    fr0thy@...
  • What is wrong with this message?

    "Big Brother doesn't get it."

    Big Brother has always gotten it. He just honestly believes he is smarter and wiser than the masses. He does all of this 'for our own good.' This is a trait of both liberalism and runaway corporate influence. The only difference is where the power lies. If it is consolidated in companies or governments. It is only through the absolute commitment to the sovereignty of the individual that we fight this problem that is so prevalent on both extremes of the spectrum.

    "Americans and Canadians will continue to almost live in a fascist state...
    ...until we look at "why" everyone hates us."

    Those who have hate as their core value rarely need reasons. They may state them, but one these reasons are eliminated, they will only pick new ones. Trying to get everyone to like us is a losing proposition. Mutual respect, however, is worth striving for. There are many people and institutions that I do not agree with and even adamantly oppose. As long as their existence does not endanger those I care about though, I will continue to respect their right to exist and disagree with me just as adamantly.

    "The free market economy...
    ...ha(s) resulted in the (A)merican paranoia."

    The free market economy has no demonstrated effect on individual or national paranoia. This statement is merely a nonsensical diatribe. Free market economy gives individuals power to achieve (and fail) based on their skills and commitment. It is the constant erosion of our ability to be respectfully independent that has caused so many issues. The erosion of respect has fostered division while the erosion of independence has fostered compliance with Big Brother without ever asking what the Solient Green is really made from.

    "We as Canadians are suffering too."

    While I am not aware of your personal situation, I am friends with a number of Canadians and Canadian nationals living in the US. I also reside in a low income neighborhood (by choice to give a little back). I have also been to third world countries around the world. I feel very comfortable in postulating that you have no idea what real suffering is.
    philpenn
    • "This is a trait of both liberalism"

      Gotta love these neo-con 'tards. They get power, crap on the constitution for two eight year streches, sell the citizens to big industry, then accuse the 'liberals' of doing it. News flash dimmy, it wasn't a liberal in the white house who said "Some people have too much freedom" and "Living in a dictatorship wouldn't be to bad if I was the dictator"

      Give credit where credit is due, the rotting of the peoples rights was (and is) done by those who label themselves 'conservative'.

      Apologies to the real conservatives, they and the liberals both recognize a wannabe tin pot dictator when they see one.

      BobJ
      plumnilly
  • Whenever I hear someone call the U.S. fascist

    I know I'm dealing with an idiot. You don't even know what
    fascism is.

    First, it's a form of socialism where the state nationalizes
    all industry.

    Second, it's a dictatorship.

    Third, it maintains power through an us vs. them
    mentality.

    So, on point one, the U.S. fails. No nationalized industries,
    yet. Although if we elect Clinton or Obama, you can
    guarantee that at least two industries, energy and health
    care will become nationalized.

    Two. The U.S. fails again. In a fascist state, there wouldn't
    BE any candidates running against Bush. Or, you'd do
    something tricky like change the constitution to keep the
    power in a new office and declare a successor puppet. Oh,
    kind of like Putin is doing.

    Third. Us vs. them. Again, the current administration fails.
    You see, the "them" has to be someone clearly visible and
    identifiable and easy to hate. Terrorists don't cut it,
    because it's too poorly defined and abstract. Corporate
    America and Rich americans fit the bill quite nicely. Very
    easily identified and easy to hate because of envy and
    greed (not corporate greed, but greed of the "have-nots").

    So, if you really want to bring the U.S. closer to a fascist
    state, you need to put people in power who despise the
    democrat system (with something, like, oh, super
    delegates), want to nationalize industry (with something
    like, oh, universal health care), and who excoriate a visible
    and easily identifiable "enemy" and whip up fear and
    hatred against it (Rich Americans.).
    frgough
    • Nicely done - ...nt

      ...
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • and in that dream of yours...

      Terrorists "don't cut it" because the term is "too poorly defined and abstract?" You have been sleeping through the whole surveillance revolution since 9/11 haven't you, FR? Or have you somehow missed the whole "we gotta pass this new bill, otherwise the 'terrists' will win" noise machine?
      Look, if you can't see that eliminating habeas corpus for US citizens on US soil because "we need that bill to fight terrorists" gives whole new meaning to "Live Free or Die"...then just turn over and try not to let the sound of your neighbors being hauled away in the night wake you.
      Professor Mojo
      • I agree with both of you..

        Is that weird or just "Truth,Justice, and the American Way!"?
        JCitizen
      • You're confused apparently

        As far back as Abe Lincoln that I know of, during times of war or national emergency, laws can and have been "suspended", not "eliminated". Nothing new here at all. Lincoln DID suspend Habeas Corpus during the Civil War.

        FDR rounded up US citizens and put them in camps at the start of WWII! And you want to complain about the Patriot Act! Beyond the pale, or at least severely lacking in knowledge. [b]Warrants are still required[/b], although they may be kept secret until served.

        No "neighbors" have been hauled away, you seem to be delusional. AAMOF, there have been very little, if any, "abuse" of these new laws.

        Let me know when you "hear your neighbors being hauled away....Professor "mountain from mole-hill". :(
        Mike Hunt
        • YORK HUNT do you notice a pattern?

          my friend, you appear to be blind. Did you pass high school math? Did you learn to recognize patterns? OR did you go to college and learn from one of the many Marxist professors in our university system and were taught to "love big brother"? Can you actually tell me that you do not see our rights to personal freedom being eroded little by little for some new reason you need to be scared and let the government take care of you? Did the Jews do something wrong? Were they just Paranoid? Or did some freak (not too unlike you) just bury their head in the sand and "Only look at the bright side" Sure Hitler won the popularity contest....at first. How did he get the people on his side? He gave them a fear of eminent danger. (huh? TERROR?) He got them to rely on the government. He taught them to not think for themselves. Looks like you might have just fit in there perfectly my friend.
          bildrdude
          • Riiiiiight, everything is a slippery slope

            Well I guess if people keep saying the same thing over and over, eventually it might come true. Of course this one has been going for what, 30+ years?

            But, your battle-cry is very very old and tired. I know that the democrats still like to use that tactic, but come on, grow up or at least learn some history.

            The mentality that would use Hitler for comparison to anything in the US, now or in the near future, is sorely lacking.
            Mike Hunt
          • Your name...and im immature.

            this battle cry began when this great nation did. it is rooted in tradition. Not checking your government gives them absolute power does it not? and as we have heard 200+ years ago "absolute power corrupts absolutely" have we not. Do believe in anything your grandfather said? Do you believe history can repeat itself? Do you think that letting our government into our daily lives means that we are going to be protected by them. And who would protect us FROM them? Do you not realize the reason we ARE a nation in the first place. You must have gone to public school. By the way. I considered myself Republican since I could make that decision. I believe in a limited government not run by corporations who suck money from it but by the peope. You call me a democrat? And you say I am confused and need to grow up.
            bildrdude
    • And whenever I see an argument like that...

      ..I know I'm reading someone who only thinks in 1930's era definitions, and is incapable of seeing parallels.

      Firstly, in a fascist state, the means of production are still privately owned, but the government takes a strong hand, when it suits its purposes, in the regulation/distribution of that productive output. I see parallels in the way the media has become almost completely sycophantic to the government party line. There's no difference, in my view, between FoxNews and Pravda, except Fox is privately owned. Telecoms didn't cared enough to defy the government's desire for unlimited wiretaps - the State "owned" them in that regard, via veiled threats. Now Bush tries to hand them something in return by limiting their liability. So technically, the US meets the first criterion.

      On the second point: While the "dictatorship" may not be formally declared, it is virtually the same thing. Between "signing statements", "renditioning", loss of habeas corpus, and a sham election where the only men of principle running are marginalized, leaving only those willing to continue the party line to "choose" from, do elections mean anything? When Congress caves in to Bush on everything it was elected to fight him on in the first place, does even having a Congress matter? When the courts lay down with the Administration and the lapdog media, can we have any hope of true "justice"? When the media stops questioning authority, are they, too, just another arm of the State? So I would posit that there IS a "dictatorship" going on, just the faces change now and then to perpetuate the illusion of "democracy". So the US meets point two.

      There are a LOT of "us against them" mentalities promoted by government at every insidious level. It used to be "communists", now it's "terrorists". The government declares "war" against everything - terrorists, drugs, crime, poverty. And what is "war" except "us against them"? Did you forget Bush's own words? "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists." So point three is so obvious I shouldn't even have to make the case here! US passes - it has a century-long tradition of promoting "us against them", to keep Americans fearful and voting for "saviors".

      American-style Fascism is a lot more covert, and slickly sold by the corporate flacks who profit from it, to convince the rubes that it's really "freedom". If you only see it in terms of "Il Duce", you'll miss it entirely.
      vikingnyc@...
    • Nice diatribe there. But please use facts!

      "First, it's a form of socialism where the state nationalizes
      all industry." Instead of a few huge corporations, you mean?

      "Second, it's a dictatorship." Like the IRS? Like the banking cartels?

      "Third, it maintains power through an us vs. them mentality." Oh! You mean the GOP! Been going on for years now!

      Your <b>right-wing revisionist drivel</b> sells to your base, but not to anyone who thinks for himself!

      "want to nationalize industry (with something like, oh, universal health care)". Idiot! The proposal, as I understand it, is to have individuals and employers pay for it--as is now done with Social Security. I do know that "nationalization" has nothing to do with the subject.

      "excoriate a visible and easily identifiable "enemy" and whip up fear and hatred against it". The GOP have been doing this against opponents and foreigners for years. The borders do need to be sealed, but "It's us against the mexicans!" is not helping to stop the flow of illegal border-crossings.

      This is hard for you, I know. But TRY to actually read the article! And check out newspapers and internet NEWS outlets. "The facts are out there." You just have to absorb them.
      Master Dave
      • Re-post: Formatting errors.

        "First, it's a form of socialism where the state nationalizes all industry." Instead of a few huge corporations, you mean? <BR><BR>
        "Second, it's a dictatorship." Like the IRS? Like the banking cartels? <BR><BR>
        "Third, it maintains power through an us vs. them mentality." Oh! You mean the GOP! Been going on for years now! <BR><BR>
        Your <b>right-wing revisionist drivel</b> sells to your base, but not to anyone who thinks for himself! <BR><BR>
        "want to nationalize industry (with something like, oh, universal health care)". Idiot! The proposal, as I understand it, is to have individuals and employers pay for it--as is now done with Social Security. I do know that "nationalization" has nothing to do with the subject. <BR><BR>
        "excoriate a visible and easily identifiable "enemy" and whip up fear and hatred against it". The GOP have been doing this against opponents and foreigners for years. The borders do need to be sealed, but "It's us against the mexicans!" is not helping to stop the flow of illegal border-crossings. <BR><BR>
        This is hard for you, I know. But TRY to actually read the article! And check out newspapers and internet NEWS outlets. "The facts are out there." You just have to absorb them.
        Master Dave
      • Which you failed to do

        You didn't state one fact in your drivel.
        Mike Hunt
    • Whenever I hear someone deny reality

      frgough WRONG!
      "...on point one, the U.S. fails. No nationalized industries, ..."
      False. Chrysler on welfare, the Boeing bailout, The B-1, the B-2, the now retiring useless F-117. America is full of nationalized industries, with only the profits being private.
      "...Two. The U.S. fails again. In a fascist state, there wouldn't BE any candidates running against Bush. ..."
      False. In a fascist state, MANY candidates all serve the party and run for office when told to, and the party is the CORPORATE powerhouses.
      "...Third. Us vs. them. Again, the current administration fails. ..."
      False. "Cut and run" ring any bells?
      "Swift boat" liars?
      Hmm?
      Ashcroft and his "illusions of lost liberties"?
      Yes, this administration is a fascist government, barely restrained by fear of prosecution IF they allow elections in November.
      Remember, "Tim Osman" worked for G.W. Bush in starting in 1983.
      mykmlr@...