Big Brother isn't the only one watching

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It's amazing how nave we are.

Since the early days of computers we have known that any information you put into one can be accessed - and used - by someone else. Our news is rife with scandals and crimes exposed by someone reading our e-mails at home and the office. Our popular fiction is rife with the hero penetrating the secure computer firewall, acquiring "confidential" information and saving the day a split-second before an impending disaster. If the hero can do it, so can the villain.

The latest is the news that Monster.com, the darling of job-seekers, has been hacked and that information on a reputed 70 million people is in the hands of scammers and has been for at least six months. Not to worry: The FBI and the Secret Service are on the case. Meanwhile someone, somewhere, is using this information to intrude into private lives and steal.

Yet we continue to post information, personal as well as financial, that now, thanks to the Web, can be accessed from anywhere in the world. We give out our credit card numbers, our banking account numbers, our Social Security numbers and our mothers' maiden names, trusting people we have never seen and do not know, secure in the fact that a little lock on the screen is protecting us.

And it's not only criminals we need to worry about. We buy things online, giving information to the sellers that they in turn use or sell for "marketing" purposes. Have you been to Amazon.com lately? They use your past purchases to develop your customer profile, so be careful what you buy.

On other sites we post information in the name of romance or friendship that we wouldn't tell our mothers. Wonder why you didn't get that job? They checked out your page on Myspace.com. And, thanks to our financial institutions, our credit information is available online for all to see and use, for a fee.

We worry about Big Brother looking over our shoulder. Don't bother - he already is, along with everyone else.

Comments (13) Add comment
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karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 09/04/07 - 05:39 am
0
0
UHHHH I think this one's is

UHHHH I think this one's is for you Barbee.........................

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 09/04/07 - 06:00 am
0
0
According to Nancy Libin,

According to Nancy Libin, Staff Counsel, Center for Democracy &
Technology: "For years, govt agencies have been exploiting a loophole
in federal privacy law that allows them to buy personal data about
American citizens from commercial data brokers, rather than collecting
& storing that information themselves. A recent report by the GAO
illustrates how this loophole has undermined one of the key laws
protecting Americans from govt snooping.// In 2005, four
govt agencies--the Social Security Admin & the
Justice, State & Homeland Security Departments--spent roughly $30
million in taxpayer money to buy personal information from data
brokers. Although the Privacy Act of 1974 requires the government to
abide by explicit privacy standards when it collects personal
information from citizens & creates its own databases of personal
information, the law--written before the rise of private data
brokers--does not provide the same privacy protections when govt
agencies purchase personal data from private companies that collect,
aggregate & sell personal information.// Companies like ChoicePoint
& LexisNexis are able to compile detailed dossiers about millions of
Americans with few restrictions."

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 09/04/07 - 06:17 am
0
0
What would we do without cut

What would we do without cut & paste?...Maybe use our own words to express an idea?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 09/04/07 - 06:43 am
0
0
The more powerful the entity,

The more powerful the entity, the more likely they are to use their power covertly. Individuals still have to contribute to the information source. The less informed you are about a subject, the more likely you can be taken advantage of. This editorial just points out the obvious.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 09/04/07 - 07:18 am
0
0
Everytime you use an ATM or

Everytime you use an ATM or swipe a credit card or even use a grocery store's "free" discount card that information is swept up by giant computers of such outfits as ChoicePoint & LexusNexus. All public records including mortgage information, drivers license information, and much much more are collected too. You name it: electricity bill, phone bill and numbers called, credit charges, even the food and other items you buy at Wal-mart are all stored and accessible to government agencies. All they have to do is pay ChoicePoint or other data mining / dataveillance companies for the information on YOU. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to have information collected. You may be able to keep your identify from being stolen by not banking online, not using credit cards, etc., but reams of information is still collected. There really is no such thing as anonymity or privacy as far as this data goes. It is important for Americans to at least KNOW this.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 09/04/07 - 07:24 am
0
0
It is a two edged sword.

It is a two edged sword.

galaxygrl
1201
Points
galaxygrl 09/04/07 - 07:39 am
0
0
It's amazing how nave we are.

It's amazing how nave we are. Did you mean naive?

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 09/04/07 - 07:59 am
0
0
"It's amazing how nave we

"It's amazing how nave we are. Did you mean naive?"...............LOL...........................I was waiting for that :)

CSRAider
0
Points
CSRAider 09/04/07 - 08:02 am
0
0
Im the guy (they) hire to

Im the guy (they) hire to watch, get, or protect you and your info. Its easy to get info with most but some are getting smart!!! Cash is hard to follow allong with money orders you can get from any convienient store. Do not use a pattern of spending do not get cash from the same teller buy gas at the same station with credit. DO USE CASH IT DOESNT TELL WHO YOU ARE. Watch the TV adds they make cash seem bad. Dont believe it credit card companies want you to create a habit they will exploit it.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 09/04/07 - 08:31 am
0
0
The Merriam-Webster

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nave as: a hub in a wheel or the second definition as the main part of the interior of a church. So I'm with galaxy, naive fits the sentence unless the Webster dictionary is missing a definition of the word nave. The only other explanation is that the sentence is supposed to represent that we're all a hub of the wheel.

critter
2
Points
critter 09/04/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
Still, nave wouldn't work in

Still, nave wouldn't work in this sentence - nave is a noun and this sentence requires (I believe) an adverb: "It's amazing how hub we are"

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 09/04/07 - 10:02 am
0
0
Just drink your Evian and

Just drink your Evian and shut up.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 09/04/07 - 02:05 pm
0
0
Adjective, critter. I'm with

Adjective, critter. I'm with pat on this one. The editorial is just pointing out how things work. It is VERY easy to live off the grid: just be willing to sacrifice all the conveniences you get from living on it. I remember the "olden days," when applying for credit somewhere was a days-long process. You provided a lot of information at a bank and waited for them to verify everything. Now, you can walk into Home Depot, give them your SSN and mother's maiden, and walk out with $10k in fine home improvements, all in about 20 minutes. Very convenient...and also very convenient for the guy who isn't you, and who ALSO wants to spend $10k...of your money.

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