Wednesday, December 17, 2003

land of the free

ChoicePoint is Big Brother's little helper, bringing literature to life...
Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected. ... Not only any actual misdemeanor, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. He has no freedom of choice in any direction whatever.
Excerpt from a discussion over at CalPundit on the potential for fraud in electronic voting: a general rule, as the world's alleged leading democracy one would think we would institute the most tamper-resistant technology possible, not the most easily tampered with...

"no piece of technology is perfect and a paper trail is a good idea in case of software failure or a simple need to do a recount."

Don't worry about it Kevin - if anything needs to fixed in this country, someone else will fix it - we don't have to worry.
update: thank God for Wired's reporting on the e-voting dangers. The latest is this:
At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines...[including] a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records.

According to a public court document released before GES hired him, [the programmer] served time in a Washington state correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that "involved a high degree of sophistication and planning."
Delivered into Hell, courtesy of the United States

from Metafilter:
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is a force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
- George Washington, terrorist/freedom fighter
In Newsweek, A Net of Control:
Picture, if you will, an information infrastructure that encourages censorship, surveillance and suppression of the creative impulse. Where anonymity is outlawed and every penny spent is accounted for.
Where the powers that be can smother subversive (or economically competitive) ideas in the cradle, and no one can publish even a laundry list without the imprimatur of Big Brother. Some prognosticators are saying that such a construct is nearly inevitable. And this infrastructure is none other than the former paradise of rebels and free-speechers: the Internet.

Old, often posted, increasingly relevant, They thought they were free, on life in 1930s Germany:
What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security...

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