*Although the file finds no criminal activity by me or members of my immediate family, it remains open because I am a “person of interest” who has “written and promoted opinions that are contrary to the government of the United States of America.”*(Read more...)
I linked this narrative to draw attention to two things:
1. Waste of taxpayer-funded time and resources. This guy does not agree with me on much, but he is less likely to be a sympathizer with Islamists than many people in our government.
2. The chilling effect of "politics taking an interest in you." Again, I resent the Administration's use of my tax money to send a "you are being watched" message to someone who in the battle of reason versus faith, is trying to be on the side of reason.
It is not hatred of "government as such" to hate too much government. And this is definitely a case of "too much."
> Where is the initiation of force in a database? [Robert B]
There is no direct initiation of force in a national ID card either...or in registration of firearms, is there? But the danger is in what further abuse these things make easier, perhaps years down the road. The gradual but steady growth of government powers under the excuse of even real emergencies was a real concern of the founding fathers.
In the case of surveillance with cause and data gathering, I am for them in an age of terrorism. But surveillance and files have been regularly abused in the past (J. Edgar Hoover's files on everybody in the government for blackmail, Kennedy and Nixon and other presidents tracking and assembling dossiers on potential adversaries, etc. (Wasn't Clinton also accused of abusing this?) The solution is there needs to be outside monitoring of these "databases" and stiff jail time for presidents or others who abuse them.
> Where are all the protests against private databases?
There have been a good number, as private institutions prove more and more careless with your private information. Financial and Medical institutions being careless with your social security number, which is the key that unlocks identity theft, your medical conditions, etc.
What about businesses or government agencies releasing (or selling) your phone number or email so advertisers can call you at all hours of the night? Should that be allowed? Related to all this, there would need to be a separate thread or discussion on "privacy rights - real vs. phony." It is not actually a simple or briefly discussed issue or a direct deduction from Objectivist first principles and, like the philosophy of law of which it is an important part, it has many subissues or subtopics.