Debate and Discussion

All this policing and surveillance.
kyupol at 9:38AM, April 1, 2009
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5992949.ece

The US Department of Homeland Security is advertising for specialists to devise airport scanners that will sniff out “deceptive individuals”.

—-

I know. I've posted other articles in the past that relate to how Big Brother tries its best to get into our lives.

All about keeping you safe from the terrorists. Even if you actually believe in the myth of 9-11, Al Quaeda and Osama, ask yourself the very obvious question why Osama wasn't hunted down in Afghanistan then get his head cut off and displayed in Times Square for the world to see?

Its simple. Its because there would be no more excuse to justify surveillance and getting into our lives. Because even the average idiot would say “huh? why they doing that? I thought Osama is dead?!? Theres no more Al Quaeda!!!”

Even if Osama and Al Quaeda is real, getting rid of them would not benefit the Military-Industrial-Complex.

Why does government always advertise fear in order to sell its solutions (which is ALWAYS about making itself bigger)?

Is it really worth giving up your freedom to be kept safe?

“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” - Benjamin Franklin -


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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
imshard at 11:27AM, April 1, 2009
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Surveillance, always a touchy subject. Public surveillance systems are a tool just like any other. They can be used for your benefit or harm. The question is whether you trust the person using it. Do you trust your government?

Personally I rather be free on a hazard strewn obstacle course than safe and trussed up in a straitjacket in a padded room. I know its a bit over simplistic as analogies go but its about the principle.

As for policing? The reasonable cause and warrant system is sufficient to my way of viewing things. Nobody needs unilateral access to the entire public with which to investigate and act on their whims. if they have reason to suspect me of something there is already a functional and fair system for investigation.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
StaceyMontgomery at 12:06PM, April 1, 2009
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imshard
Surveillance, always a touchy subject. Public surveillance systems are a tool just like any other. They can be used for your benefit or harm. The question is whether you trust the person using it. Do you trust your government?

Personally I rather be free on a hazard strewn obstacle course than safe and trussed up in a straitjacket in a padded room. I know its a bit over simplistic as analogies go but its about the principle.

As for policing? The reasonable cause and warrant system is sufficient to my way of viewing things. Nobody needs unilateral access to the entire public with which to investigate and act on their whims. if they have reason to suspect me of something there is already a functional and fair system for investigation.

Im with you, mostly.

It's not really a matter of principle for me though, it's just practicality. For instance, I would rather be trussed up in a padded room somewhere safe then chased through the woods by Vampires. Except that I don't believe in Vampires, and I'm not sure you can be “safe” when someone has you trussed up.

Ok, you win - it is a matter of principle.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
CDarklock at 12:33PM, April 1, 2009
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Privacy is a polite fiction maintained to show a community's respect for one another.

How much do you respect your neighbour? Do you know your neighbours'… name?

If we knew and respected each other in modern American communities, there would be little need for this kind of surveillance. When someone was doing something… odd… the community would snoop. They would figure out what was happening. And if it was something scary, authorities would be called.

But we don't know or respect each other. So we're not in one another's confidence anymore; the people at risk in my neighbourhood, should I decide to go batshit crazy and do something ludicrous, have no idea what kind of person I am. We wave and say hi and smile. They don't know my political views. They don't know my values. They barely even understand what my religion IS, let alone what that means. Because they don't care. We don't work in the same places, or even the same industries, or the same cities. Most of us commute thirty minutes or more each way.

Then we get to work, where we don't know or respect each other because we don't live in the same places or do the same things, and most of the important things we might want to know about each other are off-limits to discuss at work. Equality and non-discrimination and political correctness and all that, you know.

Who will tell us if one of these people is losing it? Who will even notice?

I don't expect security from government surveillance. I just expect a deterrent factor. I expect people to be a little more paranoid and a little more careful about what they do. I think that's a Good Thing.

Keep in mind, however, that - with parents in the defence industry during the cold war days - I've spent a lot of time under surveillance. I haven't had any real expectation of privacy since I was nine. So the idea that the government is watching ME is nothing new, and I don't really see a problem with it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Polkster at 1:55AM, April 2, 2009
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American and British intelligence agencies aren't the end all; fact is, I would not be surprised if Osama were alive and still not found. Do you know how many Arabic or Farsi speakers the CIA has? It's either zero or less than three. Fact is, there, for whatever reason, has not been an attack on US soil in eight years and we, the public, and our government, simply don't feel threatened enough to mobilize an expansive intellectual effort to get this stuff done.

Here's a history lesson for you:
What were Al Queada's top targets pre-9/11 and more or less still today?
1. The primary target, according to their own doctrine: Secular leaders of Muslim nations, e.g. Saddam Hussein.
2. Shia Muslims (Iran)
3. Saudi Arabia, UAE–the more economically liberal kingdoms
4. The West and Israel

We were #4, we didn't care, the CIA had barely any intel on their operations and still has very little.

Our governments and their intelligence agencies don't function Enemy of the State Style where every thing is always intercepted and their are double agents working in every damn organization in every corner of the planet.

Why wasn't Osama hunted down in Afghanistan?

Name one Western country, hell a Western SUPER POWER that has won a war against the Afghans. The Soviets lost and we're certainly not making any progress. The Afghanis still, for the most part, control their own soil, and this was moreso the case in 2001 if Osama were hiding there.

All of you are too paranoid. There's this great myth of “surveillance” that the government cares what you're doing at every point in your day–reading your emails, tapping your phones. Do you know how hard it is to acquire intel? The US state department has the means to listen to ANY phone call in the country, but in a nation of 300 million people, how do you:
a. Determine who to listen to and why? You only have so many ears, so if you're worried about “the man” snooping in on your conversation with your pot dealer, get real.
b. Understand what is being said? Everyone speaks in code. If I'm an intelligence agent and I'm listening in on your conversation and you tell your friend, “Hey man, lets meet up for dinner–at that place where we met that chick last week, you know, the one with the tits.”

Some cities have cameras on sidewalks so if crimes ARE committed that footage can be examined after the fact and the perpetrators apprehended. No one is watching anything go down in real time, and if you are worried that the government is invading your privacy, then you have to ask yourself, what are you doing? Why should the government care about YOU? Are YOU a terrorist?

Don't confuse this with the fallacious argument that only those who have something to feel guilty about need to be worried about being spied on, this isn't the case, it's those who are somehow orchestrating something truly attention-worthy who alert the eyes of the government's limited staff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
bravo1102 at 8:19AM, April 2, 2009
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Polkster is correct as he speaks about the reality of intelligence gathering.

Think of this: a security guard in a store trying to watch the cameras in six dressing rooms? How much does he miss? A lot. Does he have the time ro review all the tapes? Only when the loss is obvious. So will our police/intelligence types have the time to look under everyone's bed? No. 300 million people all making millions of phone calls, texting, etc. You can't control that with any effectiveness unless you make every citizen watch every other citizen.

Remember the USA couldn't find the Viet Cong in Vietnam either. But technology has gotten so much better! Really? One of those cool drones is in the end no more effective than an O-1 or OV-10 was forty years ago. It's just that it's smaller, quieter and flown by remote control. You can't see effectively through Jungle (too many heat signatures) and you can't see through solid ROCK no matter how hard you try.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
kyupol at 9:45AM, April 2, 2009
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You only have so many ears and eyes? Excuse me?

What about voice-recognition technology that picks up keywords? For example, you're on a phone and you say something like: “My son, Osama is going to college.”

The program will pick up “Osama” and then the telephone number will be traced, then whoever that phone number is registered to will be put into a terror database.

Lets say that “Osama” is just another Muslim kid who was named that way long before 9-11 happened.

Also in yahoo mail, if the content of the email contains certain keywords. Lets say “Britney Spears” or a name of a city like “New York” or “Toronto” or “Amsterdam”. Notice how the AI picks it up and displays a hotlink?

Thats how surveillance works.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Polkster at 2:42AM, April 3, 2009
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Again, 300 million people, calling each other multiple times per day; do you REALLY think inclusion onto a terrorist threat list would be done under some sort of arbitrary “keyword” means? Precisely what you're describe–oh no, poor woman, her son's name is Osama and blah blah blah–is how we bog down (or would bog down, if that's at all true) our intelligence gathering resources with tons of worthless data that provides no tactical advantage for anyone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
bravo1102 at 5:48AM, April 3, 2009
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Kyupol, I read that stuff, but I also read jane's and know people who've done it. There is too much information to go through and most of it is worthless. The trail of error before 9/11 is typical. Not all dectectives are Sherlock Holmes and the Ai is no where near as effective and is actually based on faulty assumptions about human behavior. It's the same garbage that Rorschach tests and lie detectors are based on. It is all subjective and none of it stands up to objective scientific testing.

It tests out as no more effective than pure chance and oftimes even less.

How much gets by the TSA (and really not for lack of trying) and how well does that training in reading people work? Empathy is hard and those with it often suffer from depression and see themselves in everyone as opposed to what the people are really thinking/feeling. Read some trial/interrogation transcripts. What the person says is discounted until the interrogator gets what he wants to hear. The same thing is at play in lie dectectors and all this AI.

The same things are at play in the examination of some videotape. Witness any of the UFO tapes. One examiner sees what he is looking for, the other will see what is there and be dispassionate, but it's hard to figure out which one is which. That's the history of intelligence gathering whether it's discounting aerial photographs or misreading people.

You might as well depend on Nostradamus and the Amazing Criswell for the history of the 20th century.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ipokino at 9:17AM, April 3, 2009
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The way I see this thread going is…SOUTH! Kyupol made a valid post about a very real problem–the reality of too much invasion of our personal lives by governmental and regulatory entities. I read a lot of you saying–"So What? The government can't monitor everything…not enough ears, hands, eyes ect…

You are all missing the point. If the government is allowed to pass laws that allow this invasive activity, and regulatory agencies are set up to use those practices–we ALL lose. Sure, you can say it won't ever affect you. You are a law abiding citizen ect. You would never fall under the scrutiny of ‘the System’ And that is fine…until you do! Then of course you can scream to the moon about the ‘unfairness’ of it all…but the fact is, the ONLY time you had a chance to prevent this invasive bullsh-t…was before it got its claws into the system!

Already GB has turned into a nightmare place of censorship and outright criminal invasiveness. Now they are trying to legislate what you think! Are you an anime fan? Guess what? The GB governemnt wants to criminalize the possession of anime which depicts ‘apparently’ underage persons engaging in sex. Oh no! And in case you think I am joking–Germany has already done so!

We are talking art here…artistic renderings that may or may not reflect actual proclivities of their creators and readers…but are in their minds! And already in Australia–a man was arrested, charged and jailed for having a couple of cartoon drawings of Bart Simpson doing ‘the wild thing.’ Yep!

Once again, you can all say, this just targets the CM's out there–but the CM fear is simply another way to drum up a reason to strip you–the people of your right to freedom from governmental invasion.

Sigh. You GO Kyupol!!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Polkster at 11:53AM, April 3, 2009
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bravo1102 with that interrogation thing, =P you assume it's often about intelligence gathering… ever read Lifton’s Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism? Interrogation isn't always a means of information extraction, it's often just a tool for brainwashing.

ipokino, oh no! Not my deviant anime porn!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Mr Lostman at 11:03PM, April 3, 2009
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Polk, give it to me! I'll keep it safe. ;)

Someone
Are you an anime fan? Guess what? The GB governemnt wants to criminalize the possession of anime which depicts ‘apparently’ underage persons engaging in sex. Oh no!
Why couldn't you be an anime fan without the “apparently” underage sex stuff?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
ipokino at 11:30AM, April 4, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Someone
Are you an anime fan? Guess what? The GB governemnt wants to criminalize the possession of anime which depicts ‘apparently’ underage persons engaging in sex. Oh no!
Why couldn't you be an anime fan without the “apparently” underage sex stuff?

Actually, I said it, and the fact is a great deal of anime involves characters that by ANY stretch of the imagination appear to be under legal age–yet often (not always by any means, but often) engage in sexual activities. In the countries I detailed, the mere appearance of being under legal age makes these illegal!!! I never said you HAD to have these particular anime's in your collection…but I bet you do!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Mr Lostman at 11:39AM, April 4, 2009
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Obviously, I wasn't talking to you, but generally speaking. And a great deal of anime is NOT about lolis and whatnot. Just what are you watching?
I'm gonna have to demand an apology about that “ … but I bet you do!” quip.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Faliat at 8:34PM, April 4, 2009
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An Ex-friend of my sister's allegedly got chased by the police by simply screaming “AAAAAGH! IT'S THE POLIS!” and running away.

I feel strangely compelled to try it. But I'm scared they might try and make out that I was doing something worse than I did.

And that behaviour is harmless compared to the kinda stuff you can get away with doing to police LEGALLY.

If you're pregnant you can piss anywhere. And a policeman's hat is one of those places you can go to empty your bladder. It's a really old English law.


Anyway, yeah. The fact that they just go after people who act or actually ARE scared or nervous around them or look or dress a certain way is an abuse of power.

One day I was walking to college with a bandana on, chunky boots, sunglasses, military style clothing and two toy guns sticking out of my bag (they were props for a possible play we were working on) and I saw two cops on the other side of the street. Luckily I don't think they saw me, but other people did. And they were scared… Or at least confused as to how the hell I got so close without being searched.

Despite my appearance and the people I associate with, I've been in no major trouble with the law. However, I've been in bad situations in which the police have turned up to take a statement or witness account from me or to help a family member that was a victim. So every time I see a police officer my nervousness is more related to the fact that most times I've met one face to face recently it's because I remember the experiences that resulted in them being called. Most of my encounters with the police before those were actually very positive. Going to open days at the local station where my mum was face painting other visiting kids, visiting with my dad when he was in a local election, the occasional visit from some at school as well as one of the janitors in my second primary school becoming one himself.

And like I wrote before, I know people that haven't been so lucky. And their tales of woe have also really tarnished that old positive opinion I used to have.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
ipokino at 5:39AM, April 5, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Obviously, I wasn't talking to you, but generally speaking. And a great deal of anime is NOT about lolis and whatnot. Just what are you watching?
I'm gonna have to demand an apology about that “ … but I bet you do!” quip.

Okay…you have my apology. I actually do not own any anime per se…(it is my daughter who really ramps on that, and lots of what she has has exactly the kind of stuff I mentioned…for instance Laine, Gantz…lots of others, and most are popular) but I have a small collection of manga which are mostly comic books in English translation which were published here in the U.S. by Viz (I believe) back in the late 80's and hey, they were considered perfectly normal comic book material back then–even though fourteen year old ‘Mai the Psychic Girl’ was running around topless for quite a bit of the time. Even ‘Appleseed’ has loli looking girlies running around nekkid in it's many, many issues!
Suddenly, however, this is NOW considered child porn?!? I can be arrested in Germany and charged with being a child porn purveyor simply because I bought a collection of these comics years ago?!? Give me a break!

Once again…the thread of the issue is being lost in details… You are still just shrugging your shoulders saying, “It doesn't affect me…” even though I have shown you a valid example of how ‘yes! it might affect you?’
Governments are not in the business of safeguarding your civil rights or your rights at all generally…YOU have to do that. How? By doing just what Kyupol is doing. Speaking out! Making a fuss, focusing attention on what ‘big Brother’ is trying to do!

Governments WANT the power to arbitrarily arrest, convict and punish you. Governments are always about protecting themselves. A government is a living organism, and like every living organism, it looks to safeguard its own existence. Governments have only two threats, external forces and internal forces. External forces are nullified by military power, but internal threats must be nullified by laws. We want our government to provide for our safety–and so the government is able to legislate laws that mandate safety…the question is, when do laws stop being for OUR safety, and start being tools for government subjection?

I'm sorry. Abusing children in any way is bad…and we have laws in place to protect them. No means of protection is 100%, but the laws in place are more than sufficient. But legislating against a creator's right to create stories, images and art OUT OF THEIR OWN IMAGINATION because these creations appear to show children doing sexual things?!? Or prevent them from sharing the same! Now that is trying to mandate THOUGHTS, and that is wrong on so many levels, the governments in question should be charged with major civil rights violations, and forced to be de-constituted.

In my book the same thing goes for drugs and any of the so-called ‘victimless crimes’ Hey Big Brother, we don't need you telling us how to live our lives…so bugger off!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Orin J Master at 8:21AM, April 5, 2009
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does there need to be security? yes.
is this security? no, not really.

while the OP seems happy to paint this with the “big brother” brush, it's probably leftover inertia from the bush administration, and won't come to any fruition.

why? because…..it's stupid. the phrase “deceptive individuals” means about as much as “local undesirables” there's nothing the defines any single group as such and there's no way to make it both inclusive enough not to miss enormous amounts of actual threats without crushing the system with an equal number of false positives. really, checking for anxiatey in an airport? might as well claim plane tickets are proof of a hijacking plan.

will they hire people to make something? yes. will it be installed in airports? oh yeah. will it last more than a year? nope, sorry. it's a business and that kind of delay will pitch them into bankruptcy, so it will make a quiet trip out for repairs and be ignored.

there's plenty of actual threats you your freedom for the sake of “security” most laws regarding officer treatment when accused of wrongdoing spring to mind. so do traffic cameras, and the tracking chips in cell phones. this? this is a joke.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Aurora Moon at 5:55PM, April 5, 2009
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I agree with ipokino.

I still have my Sailor Moon manga from when I was an teenager. in half of them there's plenty of barbie-doll nudity going on… but there's nothing even remotely sexual going on. they become “naked” in the middle of an transformation sequence, and as soon as they're clothed they're off to fight various enemies.

they also have another use for the barbie-doll nudity, where it's supposed to symbolize innocence and purity– like how Adam and Eve was before they ate the apple and became self-conscious about their bodies.

and when I say Barbie-doll nudity, I mean there's no nipples, no gentials showing…

yet, under any laws about “virtual/Digital child porn” My Sailor Moon manga would certainly affect my life negatively… even though it wasn't actually child porn. :P

“We need to protect all the children of the world! Yes, even the fictional ones.”
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
bravo1102 at 11:55PM, April 5, 2009
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Polkster
bravo1102 with that interrogation thing, =P you assume it's often about intelligence gathering… ever read Lifton’s Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism? Interrogation isn't always a means of information extraction, it's often just a tool for brainwashing.

ipokino, oh no! Not my deviant anime porn!

No, but I have read the US Army Interrogation and intelligence gathering manuals. (and lots of accounts of interrogations going back to the Middle Ages) The point of interrogation is to tread the fine line between brainwashing and intelligence gathering. The idea is to get the right answers, not the answers the subject thinks he/she needs has to be told so the unpleasantness will stop.

Again we are discussing the possiblity and confusing it with what will actually be installed and then how it will actually work.

I'm talking abot how it really works, not the philsophical underpinnings of the hows and whys of governmental control. I'm into the implementation of this technology which will not be the end all be all that we all think it is. Fouche and Himmler had more control without TV cameras and pop-psychology “face-readers”

The face readers will not work any better than if you put in a psychic. Let them have their toys, they won't work and in so having the toys that don't work, the legal precedents to block them will be put in place. There's that Bill of Rights and as long as there's an ACLU I'm not going to worry.

If you knew as many who work in gorvernment, law enforcement, loss prevention, MI, security, TSA as I do you wouldn't worry. Wonderful ideals and very silly implementation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Tundra at 8:07PM, April 16, 2009
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Sniff out deception? Sounds like lots of people will be caught on totally different charges and assumed to be terrorists.
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