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Civil Rights the next casualty?

Published by marco on

In the wake of the WTC attack, it is unfortunate to see the stirrings of government agencies that see this as an opportunity to legalize infringements of basic rights on Americans too shellshocked and/or frightened to resist.

Already, on Tuesday afternoon, the FBI was shopping their home-grown packet-sniffer, dubbed ‘Carnivore’, around to all the major ISPs again. This is a blatant, crude move that will likely work for many ISPs who don’t want to be seen as uncooperative or harboring terrorist communications. It is the type of move that will be applauded by the people to ‘make sure this won’t happen again’. The problem is that it can only reveal what it can read, and encrypted communications will present no new information to the FBI. The only thing we will have accomplished is to grant the FBI the right to spy on all of our personal unencrypted information.

More basic rights will be eroded. Read More


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anon@ool-18b82dd1.dyn.optonline.net (updated by marco)

Found some more nice quotes from Ars Technica message boards:

“Those who are willing to sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”
- Ben Franklin
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
- Wm Pitt, 18 Nov 1783, House of Commons. cf
“…and with Necessity, the Tyrant’s plea, excused his devilish deeds.”
- Milton, Paradise Lost, bk. 4 l. 393
“Seriously, what I fear most at this point is America’s reaction to this tragedy. We want very badly to make this not have happened, probably enough to kill a lot of people abroad, and further muck up the remains of personal liberty at home. I wish that as a nation we could step back from this and try to think logically about the repercussions of our responses.”

“In any case the following things will likely remain true:


  1. It is asymptotically faster to encrypt digital communication than it is to break that encryption. This is a relatively simple algorithm that I or any other knowledgable person can implement in an hour or so of work. No organization will be able to defeat this.
  2. We will not be able to keep weapons as simple as box cutters off of airplanes.
  3. As long as the United States continues to interfere in the relations between other countries (even when we are doing so for entirely humanitarian reasons) we will have serious enemies.
  4. The future of technology will make it increasingly easy to kill people (at least falling airplanes are just deadly and not contagious).

“What is obvious here is that this most recent attack did not require extensive planning, it did not require money, it did not require private digital communication. All that it required was religious fanaticism and hate and total resolve. I don’t know what the answer to this is, but I think that one thing is clear. As a fellow nation any interferance by the US will always be interpreted as illegitimate by other nations (i.e. whomever we interfere with). The only solution that I can see to this is some sort of world government with no power within nations, but the power to resolve conflict between nations.”

- palmereldritch
And, believe it or not: Rush Limbaugh!

“Throughout the day following the dastardly and unprovoked attacks using hijacked planes, I have heard a number of media people refer to the possibility that we may have to “tighten down some of our freedoms.” I’ve heard people say that the age of innocence that is America is over, and that we may now all have to join in some sort of sacrifice of our liberties and freedoms in order to protect ourselves in the future.

“I am here to tell you right now that, if anybody thinks that − I don’t care if they’re in the news media, Congress or in the general population—they are missing the whole point of what being an American means. You’re missing the whole point of the Constitution and the whole point of the reason for the founding of this country.“”

Read the full article



This article at Slashdot discusses how what you an do to keep the government from seizing our civil rights in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’.