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If you want to congratulate USA TODAY about their news story about the USA allegedly collecting personal information, contact them on their feedback website.

Make sure you give them your name (required), email address (required), address (required), city (required), state (required), zip code (required), daytime phone number (required), and evening phone number (required). :-)


( 4 conspiracy theories — Conspire Here! )
May. 12th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah right! Another database with my full contact information. You must be kidding.
May. 13th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
In my rare opposition to one of your entries...

Filling out that form is voluntary.
May. 13th, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
You can say that about any communications nowadays. Or when you join any club. Or when you apply for a car or home loan.

We voluntarily give alot of personal information away. And you wouldn't believe how much of it is public access.
May. 13th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, trust me, I absolutely would believe how much of it is out there. You can look up the financial details of my condo, including what I paid online. You can find out everywhere I've lived. You can most likely buy a list of my phone calls. And I honestly don't care. You or the government could video tape 100% of my life, and it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. But I do care about the rule of law, and the government appears to be violating it.

But there are three differences between submitting your information on an online form, and what the government has done. One, I can always choose a different state, or a different phone company, or a different mortgage lender, and encourage different ones to not share information. There is only one Federal government. Two, the American system of government grants more rights to private citizens than it does to the government. Thus, if I (or as an extension, my company) wants to keep records you have provided to me, it may be perfectly acceptable for me to do it whereas it is not appropriate for the government to do it. I can tell you to shut up, the government can't. I can treat you with prejudice (with some exceptions), the government can't. I can go back on a non-binding promise at any moment, whereas the government can make no non-binding promises. Thus, just because Verizon has the right to do it does not, in any way, shape, or form, even begin to imply that the government can do it. People have more rights than government, not less. And third, you've generally actually signed for giving up privacy (in the fine print, which you use your free will to choose to read or not read) when you submit this information to a company. The government--the entity charged with keeping law--appears to have made no such contract.
( 4 conspiracy theories — Conspire Here! )