FC: ACLU surveillance report: "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Jan 16 2003 - 07:43:11 PST

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    Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 07:40:00 -0500
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    From: Barry Steinhardt <BSteinhardtat_private>
    Subject: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society.
    I thought politechers would like to know about a new ACLU report, "Bigger 
    Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society."
    This report grew out of our sense here at the ACLU that in order to make 
    progress on the privacy issue, we have to shift the terms of the 
    debate.  When viewed in isolation, many new privacy invasions seem harmless 
    to many Americans, who don't see why they should care that (for example) 
    someone is recording the date and time that they drive through a 
    tollbooth.  To understand the privacy issue one has to look at the big 
    picture  to understand that each new piece of information collected about 
    us, no matter how seemingly harmless, is increasingly being added together 
    with thousands of other data points to create an extremely intrusive, 
    high-resolution picture of our lives.
    The need to shift the terms of the debate on privacy to focus more on the 
    big picture was made a lot easier by the breaking of the story of the 
    Pentagon/Poindexter Total Information Awareness program  and that story has 
    provided the perfect opportunity to try to spark a broader discussion of 
    how we are going to handle all the intrusive new technologies that are 
    being developed, and what we are going to let this country turn into.
    The report is available on-line at 
    Barry Steinhardt
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