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  1. #16
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsliesse View Post
    It is my personal opinion that anyone who feels he or she needs to resort to such extreme measures to prevent law enforcement from viewing the contents of email, or header information such as origin or destination of email, probably is engaged in activities which violate local or regional laws. In other words, if you had nothing to hide, you would only take normal precautions, such as opt-outs and complaining to the service provider if you can prove that there has been a privacy breach not related to law enforcement (over which the service provider has no control). If you do anything on the Internet which prompts you to use proxies, anonymizing services, encrypted communication or other obfuscation techniques, I say you probably are doing so because you have something to hide from the authorities. No service provider should be aiding illegal activities. So I don't see any reason to go to extreme measures, if all you are trying to do is maintain confidentiality of corporate information, personal information or some other legitimate cause for privacy concerns.

    Bob, that's a reasonable belief but it's not true. I certainly have nothing I need to hide from the government. However, I fully believe that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It contains no provisions for any part of it being suspended by anyone at any time for any reason. The Fourth Amendment says, in effect, that the Government is not allowed to spy on me without valid reason. These rights trump the interests of the Government in terrorism investigations. If they have a specific -- and I mean SPECIFIC -- reason that they need my data, fine. Until then, it's none of their business. Remember, the Government report is subservient to the citizenry, not the other way around.
    I respect your point of view, dsliesse, and you are correct to some extent. The Constitution has in its body provisions for suspensions of civil liberties in time of war or insurrection. While Martial Law has not been declared, we in the US are according to our Government in a state of war against terrorism or terrorists. The Patriot Act and supporting post-911 legislation supports this view of the reason civil liberties are not fully respected.

    I call BS on this point of view, as you also clearly do. What separates us, is that I choose not to defy the law or try to make an end-run around it, as long as I can reasonably function within the limits of the law. I still believe that the ways to change what is wrong are through repeal of certain parts of the legislation and the writing of new safeguards into Federal Law, as well as using the Courts at every opportunity to resist what are clearly abuses of the letter and the intent of the post-911 laws.

    For myself, I also have little to hide from anyone. I also strongly prefer to maintain my privacy when it is practical to do so.

    But encrypting email, using VPN-proxy services, and moving my email offshore, all seem to me to be too much effort for too little effect. And such practices, when discovered by US based law enforcement or agencies, may well attract exactly the sort of unwanted scrutiny I was trying to avoid if I were to play such a cat and mouse game.

    Let them look if they are legally allowed to do so. But if it is not legal, no one, not even in the name of National Security, is entitled to exemption from Court challenges. And if they do these things "in secret", let me paraphrase Sherlock Holmes:

    "Large groups of people are incapable of keeping secrets" which have serious value to outsiders.

    That is in my opinion, the greatest safeguard of all.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2013-08-23 at 17:53.
    -- Bob Primak --

  2. #17
    Star Lounger JCitizen's Avatar
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    In my not so humble opinion - the NSA is violating my 4rth, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights, and no war footing is excuse enough to implement their draconian schemes. We fought the American Revolution because the British thought civil disobedience was excuse enough to step on us - I say NEVER AGAIN!!

  3. #18
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitizen View Post
    In my not so humble opinion - the NSA is violating my 4rth, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights, and no war footing is excuse enough to implement their draconian schemes. We fought the American Revolution because the British thought civil disobedience was excuse enough to step on us - I say NEVER AGAIN!!
    You may be right (and I believe you are, by the way), but the problem is, someone needs to call the violators to account, and it doesn't appear that that will happen.

    The President, or any other politician, can get away with any crime, as long as no one is trying to stop him/her.

  4. #19
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    I know where I come down on this discussion, I HATE what our country and our government have become. I too have no answer/suggestion. This is precisely what Orwell foresaw when he wrote 1984, to his mind, and this is something I have given some thought to, Big Brother=Technology Unbound. There is no stopping it, we know that, it will continue to develop, ever faster, the more capable WE become, the more capable THEY become. Where's the answer? Move "off the grid" to the little bit of backwater America that still exists, live with no utilities, no cable, no bank account, pay cash or barter for everything, give your name to nobody, use pre-paid cell service only, disable GPS in it or turn it off immediately when not using it. There IS still a way, but it's very inconvenient, and for how much longer can it last? Beyond that, how available is it to most of us who have to get chacks or direct deposits, or work for a paycheck? Not very <SIGH> I wish I knew the answer, and I HOPE that I'll know it if/when I see it!

  5. #20
    Silver Lounger
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    Ya, the rate at witch our country's (US) checks and balances take effect are based on a time when the rider with the fastest horse could warn the country, not on bits zipping about at the speed of light.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

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