Friday, September 28, 2012

Privacy vs. Big Business

You know the Department of Homeland Security, that Orwellian sounding group whose raison d'etre is to find new ways to find out everything about everyone, all in the name of keeping us safe from terrorists.  Since they've managed to creep into our body orifices as well as our belongings at the airport, they have moved on.

Soon, if this group has their way, body scanning will be occurring at bus and train stations.  That's right, if you find the procedure at airports personally offensive and invasive, you are also going to lose the "personal freedom" option of the other available forms of mass transit.

EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, was compelled to sue the DHS under the Freedom of Information Act for disclosure of its plans to have full body scanners built and installed, well, all over the place.  Their plans include mobile body scanners as well, so that lets out just walking around.

There has actually been no proven effectiveness of these body scans.  If we wanted to foil terrorists, we would be sure to have our spy agencies be sharp, non-partisan, and cooperative among each other.  If we have not had a terrorist attack since 9/11, it has been due to the fact that the CIA and FBI -- I assume -- have moved into the 21st century technologically, and are not above talking to each other.

Why, then, is there this continued (secretive) push to get scanners out and operative anywhere we might gather?

Follow the money.

Rapiscan Systems is raking in oodles of cash for its invasive technology.  From a modest 2.7 million in 2005, the annual monetary awards are mind-boggling:  12 million in 2010, 7 million in 2011.  Talk about the federal government as job creator.

Despite the tremendous efforts of the people at EPIC, the ability of the federal spy machine to keep a secret, and the momentum of moving millions of dollars make it hard to believe that we soon will not be facing a day when we must go through full body scanners to do our groceries.  And who will pay for all these devices?  You can bet it won't be private industry.  We can't even get the airlines to keep their planes safe on their own dollar.

That's right.  Take another good look at Paul Ryan's National Debt Clock.  You won't see that slowing down soon, with or without Social Security and Obamacare.  Our military-industrial complex got a shot in the arm on 9/11, and it has been and will continue to be too big and too fast-moving to stop.

And it will take our quality of life down with it.

So visit EPIC's website and learn about what's going on with your privacy.  And if you feel so moved, help out with the good fight.

Our elected officials like to throw around the word freedom, but this, fellow Americans, is about the real thing.

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