As if people don't hate the US government enough.. (in Off-topic)


tasuki [UFC] August 4 2008 3:13 PM EDT

A great way to get people to like the US government more.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] August 4 2008 3:19 PM EDT

If they find one linked to Terrorism, they did their job, and I'm happy they're doing it, it does seem extreme, but is it our fault innocent people died in the twin towers? No, so it's not our fault this is happeneing really.

BadFish August 4 2008 3:25 PM EDT

Disgusting. I'm moving to Canada. Too bad I can't take a plane there without having my entire personal life scrutinized for no reason.

Cube August 4 2008 3:35 PM EDT

And if it causes more problems Smallpau? I just got identity-thefted because some company that was careless with one laptop.

N0seBLeeD August 4 2008 3:37 PM EDT

Stop whining, remember that guy who brought a bomb on a plane in his shoe?

I'm assuming you guys would all whine and complain if people had to take their shoes off at airports, unless it saves a life right?

But if a guy bombed a plane with a bomb from his shoe, the government has to do more to protect you, right?


...

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 4 2008 3:41 PM EDT

excusing the invasion of privacy with fear is a sure path to destruction

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 3:42 PM EDT

smallpau, as long as you are OK with it happening to you every time, and don't mind the inconvenience or time lost, then more power to your consistent stance. To clarify, you have to be OK with your personal belongings being taken away from you for an open-ended length of time, and you need to be prepared for this to happen to you each and every time you cross the border. That's the policy being discussed in the linked article.

If, however, you WOULD mind this happening to you, every time (because that is the limit you are defending -- no limits at all), then you must be against this.

So, which is it?

(Note: I am not even going to consider the case where you are OK with it "as long as it's never me or my laptop they detain", because that's not a consistent stance.)

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 3:45 PM EDT

NB, shoe removal policy has all of the following details to it:

-- My shoes aren't randomly taken away from my sight for as long as an official deems necessary.
-- EVERYONE has to remove their shoes, so there is no selectivity or profiling.
-- My privacy (or others in my name, as with computer data) is not being violated. Everyone can already see I have feet. *smile*

All of the above are violated with the computer search policy. It is capricious, open-ended, and deals with private data.

Do you really think this is the same as having to remove shoes at airports?

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 3:46 PM EDT

And FYI, I have never asked the gov't to do more to protect me, not even right after 9/11. So, you can write me out of that philosophy right off the bat. Don't build a false dichotomy without proof.

Cube August 4 2008 3:50 PM EDT

You really feel safe with this? Come on you have to be stupid to think it necessary to detain laptops without any suspicion of the individual, and without any cautionary provisions for medical or financial data. I hate how people are so willing to give up their rights, they serve an important purpose. Fear mongering is a terrible argument, and as that's your choice of argument again I can't even talk to you. You clearly are an incredible coward if you think prisoners should be tortured as you praise the guy in the last thread.

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 3:56 PM EDT

Hey now, let's keep each thread unto itself... *smile* Otherwise the chaos has truly won...

LuisOrtiz August 4 2008 3:56 PM EDT

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

-Little Green Guy

BadFish August 4 2008 3:58 PM EDT

Is there really such a difference between sacrificing your life through military service to protect the rights of your fellow Americans, and losing your life due to terrorist action because we aren't willing to give up our freedoms for security? If it means I must die to preserve our personal freedoms I'd gladly do the honors.

Cube August 4 2008 3:59 PM EDT

And Nosebleed no I couldn't care less if someone saw the inside of my shoe, I don't have any private data in my shoe, (okay well I have a little foot fungus sometimes). And even if you do care I bet you are able to request a private room.

VivaPinata August 4 2008 4:00 PM EDT

Team America is becoming more communistic with each new policy...

Mr Vengeance August 4 2008 4:00 PM EDT

You poor people over there!

The worst thing though is, that there are still so many of you thinking,
that taking away more and more rights and trying to control and superpower everything has anything to do fighting any foreign or unknown or unspecified thread.

One should have learned this from history. Just take a look back and see
what happened in the nations that took that way.

This american president I can't remember the name of said something like:
"If you abandon freedom to gain security you will lose both eventually"

Keep it in mind and and be upset that your own government is doing this to
you.

drudge August 4 2008 4:10 PM EDT

relax. dont keep child porn on your laptop or anything else extremely illegal and sought after and you got ZERO to worry about.

its not like they are after MP3s or stolen software.

Cube August 4 2008 4:20 PM EDT

Not really what I'm worried about.

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 4:24 PM EDT

It was only a matter of time before the "if you don't have anything to hide, why worry about loss of privacy?" argument came out... Come on, drudge, you don't subscribe to that line of thinking, do you?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 4 2008 4:42 PM EDT

/me thinks drudge missed his listing on Nixon's enemies list

Admin{CB1}Slayer333 August 4 2008 4:48 PM EDT

It's funny how a nation can start out casting aside security and protection to gain freedom, and end up doing the exact opposite.

Well, not really ha-ha funny.

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 5:01 PM EDT

It's shake-your-head news, that's for sure.

QBRanger August 4 2008 5:01 PM EDT

While a lot of the policies that have been enacted since 9/11 I personally back, this is just plain draconian and wrong.

I am sure the next step will be going onto everyone's home PC via the broadband access most of use have to view our entire HD's.

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 5:17 PM EDT

Exactly right, and don't forget that the US gov't will use the large ISPs and telephone companies for this and then give them retroactive pardons for all involvement! AMERICA!

Windwalker August 4 2008 5:43 PM EDT

If you abandon freedom to gain security you will lose both. I think Ben Franklin said that.Chicken Little doesn't get it!

Goodfish August 4 2008 5:59 PM EDT

I certainly don't approve of having my laptop's contents under scrutiny, because I don't want the government knowing I cheated in my Neverwinter Nights campaign.

I guess my honest stance, which I know nobody here will agree with, is that safety is the highest priority, at least in my utopia. I think the US Gov is a bunch of idiots doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons, but for the moment I am content to give up freedom if it saves even one life. I can't imagine how shanghai-ing my laptop when I go to London will help, but I suppose that's just something I'll have to deal with.

Another facet of my opinion on this precise matter is... I can't do anything about it, so I'd better well learn to accept it. Yeah, it's stupid. And luckily, we can whine and complain about it as much as we want. But the fact remains that there are more powerful people making dumb decisions about how us citizens are governed, and until that changes, we either have to accept it or immigrate. *laughs*

ResistanZ August 4 2008 6:01 PM EDT

This is getting ridiculous. Like our biggest boast of America is that it's so free and everyone in it has a certain amount of freedom. I don't get it. When they start to take away freedoms and rights what do we have left?

I know having all of my stuff taking into custody and inspected through for however long they think doesn't make me feel patriotic or grateful and proud that our government is trying to protect us. It makes me feel spiteful.

ResistanZ August 4 2008 6:03 PM EDT

And I don't get it, aren't we currently fighting the War on Terror? All this news about how much "progress" we're making. If we're making so much progress then why is it that the government is thinking of new ways to impose on our freedom and privacy?

Goodfish August 4 2008 6:04 PM EDT

Jokernaut: I agree with you. The problem we're having is that, sadly, most people are idiots. 9/11 scared them. They were willing to give up that freedom so they could sleep at night, which was their first mistake. Since the government got their foot in the door with that first policy (read: the "Patriot Act"), they can basically do anything they want now and just point fingers and yell "Terrorists can strike at any time!" and these same idiots will be cowed into accepting ridiculous policies. *rolls eyes*

ResistanZ August 4 2008 6:07 PM EDT

Yeah but you can only get pushed so far before you snap. How long before people realize that the end does not justify the means?

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] August 4 2008 6:12 PM EDT


Given the responses above? Perhaps airport head shaving will be the spine-snapping straw.

Goodfish August 4 2008 6:13 PM EDT

Hopefully not much farther. But like I said, the people who shout the loudest in the US are also the stupidest, which is why we tend to have so many policies that are as intelligent as punching yourself in the groin. *smile*

Goodfish August 4 2008 6:13 PM EDT

@Bast: Hardly. Who knows what deadly devices you could hide in your hair!

Borgin for a Bald America!

*eyeroll*

QBOddBird August 4 2008 6:49 PM EDT

I can't help but feel that this is the wrong direction.

...However, the only way I'll make a difference is if I'm in a position of influence. OB for president! (better than Obama)

th00p August 4 2008 7:18 PM EDT

OBAMA > OB

Duh, it has everything OB does plus the extra AMA.

[Beo]AggroHippie August 4 2008 7:30 PM EDT

I like this bit:
"Officials said such procedures have long been in place but were disclosed last month because of public interest in the matter."

so let me get this straight. this was already in the fine print of the patriot act? do we not have someone looking over the fine print?

I wonder how hard it is to move to Sweden...

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 8:46 PM EDT

OB, you are in a position of power, at least relatively. You are a man, you are white, you have a vote, and you can write well.

That's a lot of influence, of you care to focus it.

(Note: I am completely aware that OB being a man and being white _shouldn't_ be a boon, but we live in a flawed system. For such a man to say he has no power is, well, incorrect (in my opinion)).

Oh, and I agree with Bast. She is simply able to distill my frustration and depression in one sentence instead of taking several sarcastic posts to do so.

Oh, and still waiting for smallpau's response... Part of me really doesn't think he thinks this is OK (/troll off).

BadFish August 4 2008 8:50 PM EDT

I dunno Sut... If I ever ran for office, of any kind, I would lose. Period point blank. There's just something about our system that has a real hard time allowing newcomers to break in, regardless of how white/literate/male they are. Perhaps being a white literate male gave you an advantage in the past but that advantage is waning if not already gone.

Sickone August 4 2008 9:02 PM EDT

The quote is supposedly...

"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

And I think it's well said.

Lord Bob August 4 2008 9:15 PM EDT

"so let me get this straight. this was already in the fine print of the patriot act? do we not have someone looking over the fine print?"

You would be surprised how many in Congress did not read the PATRIOT Act before voting for it. They passed it as a knee jerk reaction to 9/11 and to avoid looking soft on terrorism to their constituents.

QBsutekh137 August 4 2008 9:18 PM EDT

Indeed, apparently the job is open, Agro. How about you start briefing us on all the fine print, eh? *smile*

Zaekyr August 4 2008 10:23 PM EDT

I think we in America are in a great deal of danger. Most people believe in the sayings "if you don't learn and understand history you are doomed to repeat it"....."History repeats itself". At the same time they have no clue how Adolf Hitler came to power.Most people assume it happened within a period of 3-4 years.But actions were being taken from 1925 on.A lot can happen in 8 or so years.Hitler came to power preaching for a peaceful and economic approach to the hostilities of other euro countries because of WW1. Don't look at these laws that give government more power while taking the freedoms of its citizens as something temporary in order to fight terrorism.Because as they take more and we give in whether it be a span of 10 or 20 or 30 years all of these things will build up.And although it would seem that we would never turn into a fascist state we are definately headed that way.Many Germans did not believe their country would end up as it did. With absolute power comes absolute corruption.We might not have a president that will abuse the power but eventually one will be found........guaranteed.

http://www.youtube.com/

http://www.youtube.com/

http://www.youtube.com/

http://www.youtube.com/

http://www.youtube.com/

InebriatedArsonist August 5 2008 12:04 AM EDT

Disgusting. I'm moving to Canada. Too bad I can't take a plane there without having my entire personal life scrutinized for no reason.

-Considering that Canada modeled it's search and seizure laws on those in the United States, I'm not sure what that would accomplish.

Stop whining, remember that guy who brought a bomb on a plane in his shoe?

-That situation wasn't terribly similar to the one at hand, NB. This is about searching someone crossing a national border after a flight, not before one.

At the same time they have no clue how Adolf Hitler came to power.Most people assume it happened within a period of 3-4 years.But actions were being taken from 1925 on.A lot can happen in 8 or so years.Hitler came to power preaching for a peaceful and economic approach to the hostilities of other euro countries because of WW1.

-That's not exactly true, Zaekyr. While early National Socialist propaganda drives certainly used economic troubles to gin up public support, the propaganda was definitely nationalistic and militaristic in character. The Nazis especially blamed the Entente powers for the conditions imposed after the end of the Great War, including the occupation of German territory by France, the neutering of the German military and the compensatory damage payments Germany had to make to the victorious nations. The Nazis wanted to rearm and retake territory, and they didn't exactly hide their intent.

As to the legality of searching laptops and other similar pieces of electronics, I find it hard to agree with the notion that a customs agent can legally search both you and your luggage for illegal materials, such as narcotics and agricultural goods, but can't search your laptop for illegal electronic goods. I don't like the idea of broad search and seizure powers, but the legality of border searches rests on rather firm ground.

QBsutekh137 August 5 2008 12:14 AM EDT

IA, can they take all of your luggage away, out of your sight, for an indeterminate amount of time? (that's an honest question, for all I know, they can). I know border folks have wide latitude, but taking a laptop away for as long as they want...?

Let me put it this way -- it is clear they are simply trying to maximize information gathering. So, once we have mind scans down pat (yes, sci-fi, but maybe someday?) you are saying it will be OK for them to scan your mind for whatever they wish, because, well, hey, they're the border guys, and borders are important. They are supposed to learn everything and act accordingly.

Yes?

I say, "no".

Cube August 5 2008 12:23 AM EDT

Agriculture is hardly comparable to searching the information on your laptop, a slight error there can cause massive starvation, even accidentally. Also, if I remember correctly they also do one quick scan of your luggage or something and you're clear to go, it's unobtrusive.

As for narcotics, I don't see why they should be illegal, but that's my
crazy libertarian philosophy.

QBOddBird August 5 2008 12:38 AM EDT

Sut (dingo?), you should re-read his post. It seems that you've misinterpreted it....well, entirely.

Xenko August 5 2008 1:03 AM EDT

What sorts of acts will this policy prevent? What additional safety does this provide? In my opinion... absolutely nothing, due to the fact that it is so simple to circumvent.

Enter US, buy computer, piggy-back on some poor soul's wireless network, download encrypted data from a server somewhere.

It's data! You can't stop it from getting into the country by searching laptops. You might stop a few dumb pedophiles and such, but any serious terrorist or criminal can and will find a way around it without difficulty.

It's just as bad as the idea behind DRM. Sure, it might stop a few people, but the people who want to get around it will do so relatively easily, and in the end it just annoys the honest consumers.

Zaekyr August 5 2008 3:20 AM EDT

Well IA,while it is true that was the nazi agenda it is not true of the German public as a whole.Remember the nazi party was very small when it started and only grew to about 30% of the population.If democracy would have been honored the nazi party would not have gone far.

As the Nazi socialist movement was aggressive and took their power the masses were disarmed and cowed into submission.

To be in America and say I will let the government do as they need to protect me is the same as asking for chains in my opinion.

QBsutekh137 August 5 2008 10:52 AM EDT

OB, maybe I did re-read, but I wouldn't say "entirely":

As to the legality of searching laptops and other similar pieces of electronics, I find it hard to agree with the notion that a customs agent can legally search both you and your luggage for illegal materials, such as narcotics and agricultural goods, but can't search your laptop for illegal electronic goods. I don't like the idea of broad search and seizure powers, but the legality of border searches rests on rather firm ground.

While it would seem IA does not like the broad search and seizure powers, he is finding consistency in what is ALREADY allowed vs. searching computers, etc.

That's why I took it to the limit to a time where a search can be a full mind scan. You know, preventing thoughtcrime and such. Or, checking genetic makeup to find the "bad apples". To me, that is what this gets into, so I was simply stating that even though I agree that search and seizure powers are currently broad, I DO agree with the notion that drug and agriculture searches could be allowed while stopping at personal computers. I wasn't really disagreeing with IA as much as saying, "it has to stop somewhere, or it is never going to stop at all -- welcome to 1984."

I don't think that is a blatant mis-read of IA's point.

j'bob August 5 2008 11:33 AM EDT

This is gonna be difficult. Responding to this post that is. I wasn't going to but my fingers are spasming to do something so here we go.
There are a lot of valid points up there ^
Lots of valid opinions and reasonable anger. I'm going to just address things sort of vaguely because I'm only on cuppa joe #2.
Times they are a changing. People very often point at what our "rights" are and how new policy often violates it. What most fail to consider is where these "rights" came from and how they work. Here in America (which is what this thread is about) the most oft referred to rights were put down on paper (parchment?) over 200 years ago. And for their time they were amazingly AHEAD of their time. Very encompassing. Very well rounded. But like it or not, they're getting old. Not because the rights are getting old, but because humanity as a whole is changing as is the rest of the world. I don't think the founding fathers were even remotely contemplating the idea that after fleeing another country and rule they might want to one day leave their new country on a regular basis and take their computers with them. Compound that with the fact that crime in general (terrorism included) has changed and evolved in ways that NO ONE could have imagined back then and you have a quickly aging Bill of Rights. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Unreasonable. UNREASONABLE. That my friends is THE key word and it's found EVERYWHERE in the law. Even our forefathers knew how to include the loop holes. Unreasonable. What is "unreasonable"? And by that, what is "reasonable"? Is taking someones property for an indeterminable amount of time without specific cause, unreasonable? I'd have to say yes. The problem is, is using an airplane loaded with innocents aimed at a building full of innocents as a weapon of terrorism / war unreasonable? I'd have to say yes again. So what do we do?
Several people have quoted Ben with the whole giving up freedom for safety thing. Has no one thought about the freedom to feel safe? When Ben said that there was very little possibility of tens of thousands of people dying because a plane hit a building or because a chemical flooded the air in a subway.
The times they are a changing and the way we live our lives and the rules we live them by must inevitably change as well. It is no doubt sad but it is true. You evolve or you die. The key these days is trying to find that spot in the middle.
Thats all for now because I'm confusing myself and you're tired of reading. And I need more coffee.

QBsutekh137 August 5 2008 12:33 PM EDT

j'bob, good points. I would also add that sometimes people go even further and confuse "rights" with "privileges". So, there is the whole right to privacy vs. the privilege of flying... I would not say it is anyone's "right" to fly.

Finding that balance is definitely a challenge, and I appreciate your reminder of that. All too often I get righteous about something that was probably more of a privilege in the first place... After all, I can always drive instead of fly, right? *smile*

Sickone August 5 2008 3:45 PM EDT

I think the Ben.F. quote needs a bit of interpretation then :)

"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Key words being ESSENTIAL and TEMPORARY.

Personally, I would classify "property" as an essential liberty.
If any govt. can seize your property for an indefinite amount of time with no reason (not even good reason, but no reason at all), and you allow that to happen, I'd say you just gave up one of your essential liberties.
You should only allow property to be removed from you if a GOOD reason is given, and even then, insist on recovering that said property as soon as possible and in the same state as it was seized.

As for the "temporary" part... it seems pretty obvious to me, again, that all these measures aren't really meant to secure anything (I mean, come on, it's not like DATA can't be easily and relatively securely transferred over the internet, and what the hell else would you have on a laptop to begin with), rather act as a "just feel safer" bandaid.

So, all in all, THIS particular policy is sacrificing essential liberties for temporary (or, rather said, FAKE sense of) security, therefore those who agree with it for any reason deserve neither one.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002Vae">As if people don't hate the US government enough..</a>