Facebook Executives Meet Regarding Your Privacy

May 13, 2010 · Posted in big brother, civil liberties, privacy · Comment 

Sign the ACLU Petition Regarding Facebook Privacy Policy

According to news reports, Facebook has called an “all hands” meeting today to discuss its privacy policies. That’s because they are facing a brewing revolt among Facebook users alarmed by the company’s cavalier attitude toward protecting your privacy.

In recent months, Facebook has rolled out some very privacy-unfriendly practices, from the “privacy transition” that took away privacy controls to “instant personalization” that instantly shares your personal information with third party pages without your consent.

At every step, the ACLU has been there to push back. Why? Because the less control you have over your own personal information, the more likely that information could end up in the wrong hands—including the government’s.

Sign the ACLU’s petition. Tell Facebook loud and clear that you want control of your personal information.

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that “the default is social.” That means Facebook starts from the assumption that your personal information will be distributed far and wide without your consent. But, tens of thousands of you have signed the ACLU petition to make it clear that you want to share with your friends, not a spying government.

Facebook is feeling the heat. It’s time to hold the company’s feet to the fire and take back control of our personal information.

You—not Facebook—should decide who to trust with private information about your political interests, sexual orientation, and more.

Sign the ACLU Facebook privacy petition. Make it clear you want to share with the people you choose, not the ones Facebook chooses for you.

Today’s reported all-hands meeting at Facebook means we’ve got their attention. Let’s keep the pressure on until Facebook adopts policies that respect the privacy of its users.

Downsize DC Internet Radio Show

Today, Sunday March 30, on the Downsize DC Conference Call, Libertarian Jim Babka’s two-hour radio show, will air at at 3:06 PM Eastern (2:06 PM Central, 1:06 PM Mountain, and 12:06 PM Pacific). The focus of today’s show will be about the Real ID Act.

Not only does Mr. Babka contend that Real ID is not good for America, but he also believes it is anti-American. He is not alone. He’ll provide a great many details about what’s going on in the fight because we’re now at the point where we need to turn up the pressure at a national level. This will be a show featuring some good news.

For the last two years the battle has shifted to the states on this issue and he wants to hear from the activists working in the states. What’s happening in your state?

Please let him know at CALL at DOWNSIZEDC dot ORG (we ask that you type that address in as it sounds because if we provide a hyperlink, spam harvesting programs will snag the address, and make a headache out of it).

To call-in during the show the toll-free number is 1-800-259-9231.

And, by the way, if you want to send a message to Congress asking them to repeal the Real ID Act, you can do so at the website, DownsizeDC.org.

The best way to hear the program is on the Genesis Communications Network website.

And previous episodes are available as mp3 “attachments” to posts on our DownsizeDC.org blog.

Worried About Your Government Spying on You?

February 2, 2008 · Posted in analysis, big brother, fascism, police state, privacy · Comment 

Spies Like Us

I find it insane and outrageous the the Bush Administration continuously beats the drums of fear and mis-information in order to keep killing off democracy, stripping away civil liberties, while rampant large-scale corruption, big business cronyism, and the continued spying on ordinary U.S. citizens continues to blossom. Some democracy!

It’s for your own protection

We’re told that this nonsense is for our own protection. This is exactly the type of thing that was happening in Germany in the 1930′s when Hitler and his troop of deadly, lying pranksters were coming into power… It’s as if the Bush administration is using the Nazi play book, step by step. Painting by numbers, if you will… Painting it black.

More info on the ACLU website

Here’s a good article on the ACLU website that debunks Bush’s fear-mongering at his (final) State of the Union Address, where he keeps pushing for the gutting of current FISA laws in order to keep on illegaly wiretapping American phone lines. He must be stopped.

Contact Your Senators

They need to hear from you. Following this link will allow you to quickly, easily and securely send a message to your senators. Communicate with them. It does make a difference!

Arizona’s “Big Brother” Plans to Cash in on Speeders

January 24, 2008 · Posted in big brother, police state, privacy · Comment 

Arizona’s Budget Will be Banking on Speeders

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano gives her State of the State address in the House Chamber of the State Capitol in Phoenix Arizona

I don’t know whether Arizonans want to be policed by cameras. It smacks of Big Brother to me.

Senate Transportation Chairman Ron Gould

Janet Napolitano, Arizona’s governor, insists that the deployment of new photo radar and ‘other’ speed enforcement technology on state highways is “all about public safety”. But her proposed state budget counts on the anticipated speeding fines to help disappear a projected revenue shortfall.

The proposed state budget anticipates $120 million in revenue the first year, which includes $90 million in net income from the statewide effort (that’s right…*net income* of $90 Million, after expenses are deducted). Larger dollar amounts are expected to continue in future years. And that’s sure a lot of money being bled off of the public just as that same public’s privacy standards dwindle ever closer to oblivion. Isn’t that thoughtful, they not only find ways to take our rights away, but we also get to pay them to do it. Crafty devils, they are.

The state faces a projected revenue shortfall of at least $1.2 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

While some states use photo radar and similar technology on a limited basis in areas such as construction zones, experts said Arizona intends to move toward widespread deployment of speed technology on the state’s highways.

All Those Camera Watching You, All the Time

Perhaps you’re going to feel like a star!

Which is just another way of watching *you*, Mr. and Ms. John Q. Public. Where ever you might go. Under the guise of public safety, yet another attempt to turn America into something that it is NOT. If we’re not careful, we’ll have a constantly monitored society, continuously under surveillance “for our own good”. And we will have handed it to them on a silver platter. One civil liberty at a time. A healthy dose of FEAR, propagated by those in power, chock-full of conflicts-of-interest, via the media they more or less control. Their job is to first *Spread the Fear* real or imagined, then once the fear has spread via the many tentacles of the corporate controlled media giant, then they can offer the worried masses protection and piece of mind. In its most base incarnation, this is the form, the basis of these public safety projects… however, the reality, the final result, is a palpable lessening of your privacy and freedom. That’s the soft white underbelly of this particular smelly beast.

Governor Napolitano said, “It wasn’t designated primarily for revenue generation but since we have it (and) it works, we want to move statewide. We made that decision before the whole budget issue arose. Now we take advantage of it and use it for law enforcement highway safety purposes.”

The governor’s budget aides could not provide details on assumptions used to project the revenue estimate, including the numbers of expected violations. Maybe they all have a healthy portfolio of stock options from the companies that make the speed-trap machines which will make the rest of our lives miserable. The more money that they can make from these photo-radar machines, the richer they get. So it’s in their best interest to make sure that those damn machines give out as many citations as possible. No matter if they are accurate or not. Most people are unlikely to make a stink and fight the ticket, even if they feel that they were wrongly cited. They are more likely just to pay the fine and be done with it. So you see, the people behind this proposal stand to prosper no matter what. There’s that word again: Conflict of Interest…

Gov. Napolitano’s plan needs approval by the Legislature, which is currently controlled by Republican leadership. There is at least one key lawmaker who has expressed immediate opposition.

Arizonans Might Not Want to be Policed by Camera

“I don’t know whether Arizonans want to be policed by cameras,” said Senate Transportation Chairman Ron Gould, adding that he plans legislation to require that voters decide the issue. “It smacks of Big Brother to me.”

Proposals calling for even limited use of cameras have run into opposition in some states.

Maryland’s transportation secretary on Tuesday told lawmakers that cameras in highway work zones would improve worker safety and reduce accidents, but lawmakers raised concerns on privacy, effectiveness and motive.

Arizona Automobile Association spokeswoman Linda Gorman said the 750,000-member group representing drivers supports photo radar as a way to improve traffic safety but not to help balance the state budget.

A year ago, Napolitano cited results from suburban Scottsdale’s use of fixed cameras on a stretch of state freeway when she directed the state Department of Public Safety to begin researching the possible use of new speed enforcement devices.

As for myself, I’ll just as soon drive *around* Arizona, then drive through it… if that’s the game they want to play. It’s not a problem to avoid the state entirely. Might even make for some exciting Arizona-less road trips.

An Arizona State University professor who studied the Scottsdale project found that it reduced speeding and accident rates. That system uses sensors embedded in the freeway to trigger cameras that snap photos of speeding vehicles. Motor vehicle records are checked to find the vehicles’ owners, ultimately leading to citations for identified drivers.

It’s also important to keep in mind that these photo-radar machines are owned and operated by independent 3rd parties who have an interest in the financial aspect of the photo-radar “industry”. So, they funds that are raised will not only go to help pay off Arizona state’s budget shortfalls, but those funds will also be used to line the pockets of the people and companies that the road authorities will be contracting with. This is a for-profit business, my friends. You and I are the unwilling “consumers” being forced to pay for a “product” we do not want nor need. It stinks of legalized extortion.

Think about that. And if you don’t already know the meaning of the phrase “Conflict of Interest”, I suggest you pick up a dictionary and look it up.

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