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Stop the Government Plan to Mine our Privacy
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<-- Return To TerrorSpeak

Source: ACLU

Stop the Government Plan to Mine our Privacy

November 15, 2002

In the last several days, media reports have revealed that a little-known Defense Department office is developing a computer system that threatens to turn us all into "suspects" and would provide the government with the ability to snoop into all aspects of our private lives without a search warrant or proof of criminal wrongdoing.

In the last several days, media reports have revealed that a little-known Defense Department office is developing a computer system that would provide government officials with the ability to snoop into all aspects of our private lives without a search warrant or proof of criminal wrongdoing.

The Pentagon's new Office of Information Awareness is building a system called "Total Information Awareness" that would effectively provide government officials with immediate access to our personal information: all of our communications (phone calls, emails and web searches), financial records, purchases, prescriptions, school records, medical records and travel history. Under this program, our entire lives would be catalogued and available to government officials.

Leading this initiative is John Poindexter, the former Reagan era National Security Adviser who famously said that it was his duty to withhold information from Congress. In his new post as Head of the Pentagon Office of Information Awareness, Poindexter has been quietly promoting the idea of creating "a virtual centralized database" that would have the "data-mining" power to pry into the most minute and intimate details of our private lives.

While the promoters of this Orwellian program have argued that such snooping should be accepted as part of the "War on Terrorism," it is clear that this proposal goes too far. While running for the presidency, George W. Bush said that he wanted to defend individual privacy. Yet the Defense Department program makes a mockery of such privacy protections and threatens to bulldoze the judicial and Congressional restraints that have protected the public against domestic spying.

You can stop this program now! TAKE ACTION by sending a free fax to President Bush asking that he renounce and end this new effort to invade our privacy.

  • Law-abiding people should be protected from government snooping. It has been a hallmark of American democracy that our individual privacy is protected against government intervention and snooping as long as we are not guilty of wrongdoing.

    This new system would obliterate these protections -- the government would simply collect data on everyone so as to be able to investigate any one of us if and when they so decide to do so. Doing so would make us all suspects and in effect eliminate our personal privacy.

  • In searching for terrorists, we must not investigate everyone. It has been suggested that searching for terrorists in our midst is like looking for a needle in a haystack. If this is true, then it certainly makes no sense to make the haystack even bigger by creating the means to investigate hundreds of millions of law-abiding Americans rather than focusing in on real suspects.

  • We must not sacrifice our freedom and liberty in order to prosecute the "War on Terrorism." As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our constitutional rights and freedoms. And in being proud of these rights, we must make every effort to promote and enlarge our privacy rather then sacrifice it in a time of anxiety and concern. TAKE ACTION!

Send a Free Fax to President Bush!

<-- Return To TerrorSpeak

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Michael R. Meuser
Data Research & GIS Specialist is an independent firm specializing in GIS project development and data research. We created the first U.S. based interactive toxic chemical facility maps on the internet in 1996 and we have been online ever since. Learn more about us and our services.

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