May 30 2006

Why Should We Die For ‘Privacy’?

Published by at 3:33 pm under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

Since I deal with tens of telemarketing calls a day from people who have all sorts of information on me and my family, not to mention all the mail we have to pitch from credit card and mortgage offers, I am truly dumbfounded by the resistance to give the Federal Government personal information in order to screen for terrorists.  I would probably be all worked up if my private life was private.  But it is not and no amount of alarm bells from the ACLU is going to change my mind.

And now the EU has decided to punish its people because information airlines have (and which they use to make money off of) cannot be shared with the Feds (who have stiff requirements on protecting that data and who cannot make money off it).  Instead of sharing already exposed details, the EU wants to make it harder to identify terrorists on flights to the US:

Today’s court decision means more queues and long hold-ups for Europeans at American airports once the current system is scrapped, unless a new arrangement can be reached.

The agreement between Brussels and Washington, which was blasted by civil liberties groups, was insisted on by America after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It required European airlines to provide the US authorities with 34 pieces of information on each passenger including names, addresses and credit card information, within 15 minutes of a plane taking off. It was opposed by many European MPs as a breach of privacy laws.

But the 2004 deal was annulled not on the issue of privacy, but on the purely technical grounds that existing EU data protection law only covers commercial data, and was not wide enough in scope to cover data used for security purposes.

What is worse than the mindless bureacrat robot who fails to grasp intent verses literal readings of the law?  Partisan fanatics who would risk our lives to push their agendas, whether we agree with them or not!  Is there any end to the madness in this world?

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Why Should We Die For ‘Privacy’?”

  1. dgf says:

    AJ —

    Well, I don’t know how the law was written, and cannot say that the judges made an error. The law may not have had any “intent” component related to the GWOT, having been enacted prior to 9/11, for example. Then, where’s the “mindless bureaucratic ignoring of intent” of the law ?

    Didn’t you have a post just recently on the soon-to-be-repealed communications tax, whose enactment was “intended” to finance the Spanish American War ? If a law is on the books, it’s on the books and (assuming no “unconstitutionality”), the way to deal with the fact that changed circumstances render a law no longer adequate, is to repeal or amend the law.

    Pretty simple. Pretty ordinary. Pretty universal. Not madness at all. Chill. You’re going to give yourself a coronary.

    – Regards

  2. madawaskan says:

    Finally! Someone makes this analogy-

    Since I deal with tens of telemarketing calls a day from people who have all sorts of information on me and my family.

    I think the know “boxers or briefs”….

    Oh ya and they’ll sell this info to anyone,/i>..even- gasp!- foreigners!

    Canadians mostly.

  3. madawaskan says:

    close italics.

    Sorry-that should be they know-“boxers or briefs”.

    Eastern provinces have a lot of call centers-because they can speak American! without those annoying Yankee or Southern accents.

    {btw-when are we gonna learn them folks some English…? ;-) }

  4. crosspatch says:

    Well, there is probably another reason why those call centers have migrated to Canada. They would probably be immune to the US rules on telemarketing calls. Our courts don’t have jurisdiction over individuals in Canada. In today’s global economy, passing restrictive laws such as our anti-telemarketing rules is like squeezing a water balloon. You squeeze it in one place and it just pops out in another. In this case, Canada. With modern telecommunications, it matters not one iota where the caller is located in order for the sales pitch to be made but it does matter to the law as the reach of our law does not extend beyond our border. Just another example of people substituting emotion for thought. Yeah, passing that law probably made a lot of people feel good, but in the end, it only reduces the telemarketing calls for as long as it takes for the companies to fire all their American workers and move to Canada. Thanks a lot.

  5. For Enforcement says:

    I don’t understand why we need to worry about what data we have on people flying into the US. If we require more than they want to supply, they can just fly to Mexico and walk into the US, no one will challenge them. As of now there is, as we all know, no plans to secure that border. A few years ago, in 2001, just prior to 9/11 I flew to Australia from the US. I am a native born US citizen and I practically had to give them my life history just to go there. I personally believe we should require certain data be supplied by those European airlines and if they don’t supply it, just deny that person entry into the US. Let that airline fly them back at their own expense.