Days of Change

Trading Patriotism for Security | June 3, 2015

The Patriot Act is dead. Long live the Freedom Act.

In typical Newspeak fashion, Obama has signed off on the same process he wanted over a year ago. The bulk collection of metadata will now be held by data providers. The federal government will legally need some sort of warrant to access the data. We don’t know how broad the warrant would be. If they suspect someone in New York City, can they collect all the data from everyone on the Eastern Seaboard? Do the phone companies want to sell this data, like Facebook has in the part? Companies can no longer be compelled to hand over data, but they can be bribed and they can still be handed secret warrants they have little ability to refuse.

Metadata is best at predicting trends for marketing and personality profiling. It’s why most phone companies keep it. It is lousy for finding a trail of criminal activity and useless for predicting it. Police use phone records only after they have a suspect (or two) to find a connection to the victim or another conspirator. This Freedom Act will hopefully eliminate the Edward Snowdens who just want to peek. That’s what the White House wanted all along. Whistle blowers are bad for business. They had to go through the trouble of renaming a law.


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1 Comment

  1. They had to go through the trouble of renaming a law.

    Obama will need a month in Hawaii to recover from the effort, work not being his long suit.

    Comment by Mary — June 4, 2015 @ 12:24 am

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