Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The serpent of public safety beguiles us to discard the warnings of our forefathers.

Nearly six years ago, the FBI was quietly awarded a $1 billion contract from the Obama administration. The goal was to develop a nationwide surveillance system that could recognize faces, voices, and prints as part of a stated effort to identify criminals and terrorists. Privacy advocates fear the system could become all-encompassing, eliminating privacy entirely.

Shall we eat the apple, despite the warning?

Shall we eat the apple, despite the warning?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Privacy, FBI, system, technology, spying, marketing


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans have very little privacy left. Although we still believe we have a fair amount of privacy, particularly in our homes, we don't. Our cellphones constantly record and report our GPS position, even when they're turned off. They also record barometric pressure, ambient temperature, and can be used to record sounds even if you don't have an app to do it with.

All that data is quietly aggregated by private corporations that want to know how you use your phones, where you go, and what you do.

Our computers monitor us, as do our social networks, but most of us know that by now.

Cameras and other electronic equipment capture the rest of our lives. Information can be teased out of our spending habits, our call logs, and even what paths we take to and from work.

Are you having an illicit affair? No matter how careful you think you've been, odds are very high there's a digital trace of evidence for it somewhere.

For now, nobody is suggesting that the next generation of surveillance equipment will be used to catch cheaters-too many people in high places committing that sin to allow that. However the new technologies will be used to catch criminals.

That might not be a bad thing, so long as what constitutes a criminal doesn't change.

The timeframe for the rollout is 2014.

Next year, the government will begin deploying technology to scan faces in public areas, microphones to listen for the voices of known terror suspects and more. Even the cleverest criminals will soon run the risk of being caught, no matter how carefully they plan their crimes.

This may seem like a positive development, but privacy is key to the American way of life. It is a value that is also enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. Unfortunately, Supreme Court decisions have eroded the Fifth considerably, making everything the FBI is about to do quite legal.

Privacy brings peace of mind and comfort. Sometimes our public selves are at odds with our private selves and revealing the private self can be painful or embarrassing to some. Perhaps our tastes are different from the norm. Not necessarily criminal, but perhaps unique. Privacy ensures us that at least sometimes, behind the doors of our homes, or even on a crowded street filled with strangers, we can be ourselves. Losing privacy means the masks many wear in public must stay on; a psychological trial never ends.

It's not that we have nothing to hide, it's that we want the right to hide if we feel more comfortable doing so. Would you like the arguments you have with your spouse recorded? Is it anyone's business outside of your home how much you spend on frivolous things? Should the content of your most intimate prayers be revealed to others?

While there is no doubt the next generation of surveillance equipment will help fight crime, we can also rest assured that at some point it will be abused. It always is. Even the NSA, with its awesome responsibility, has admittedly abused its power as unscrupulous agents tapped phone calls and other records belonging to their love interests.

Omniscience, like many other phenomena, is the realm of God. People should not have omniscience because they cannot handle it properly. Yet, despite the caveats, we cannot help but take another bite from the apple of knowledge, although we've been warned not to. We're Adam in the Garden, going back for a second bite.

The new systems will catch criminals, of that there can be no doubt. We're always thankful for justice. But the cameras and microphones will also catch you. Quietly, even unwittingly, you will be monitored by the penultimate voyeur, which is the government. Woe onto you who makes an enemy of someone in a powerful place, for your most private moments will soon be known.

Orwell was just 30 years premature on his date, and Genesis had it right all along.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

California lawmakers run to the aid of communities suffering the worst in drought Watch

Image of The new legislation focuses on obtaining federal funding to get costly water projects off the ground. Feinstein and Boxer's bill pinpoints 26 promising desalination projects in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the record-breaking California drought stretches into its fifth year, lawmakers are passing legislation intended to help the communities hardest hit by water shortages. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have both introduced emergency drought ... continue reading


Why two religious Republican presidential candidates weren't invited to a major Christian event Watch

Image of The reason is not as controversial as many speculated.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Some were left puzzled as to why two Southern Baptist presidential candidates from the GOP were left out of a major Christian event; the reason was not as bad as some speculated. According to the official statement from the organizers of the event, the two candidates ... continue reading


Judge threatens to hold IRS chief John Koskinen in contempt for failing to turn over Lerner emails Watch

Image of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was threatened with contempt charges by a federal judge this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was threatened with contempt charges by a federal judge this week. Koskinen failed to produce, by decree, newly recovered emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the IRS at ... continue reading


Mitch McConnell says he will wipe out Obamacare with simple 51-vote majority Watch

Image of In the waning days of President Barack Obama's presidency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is vowing to overthrow his signature legislation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the waning days of President Barack Obama's presidency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is vowing to overthrow his signature legislation. Health care reform, better known as "Obamacare" has been a cause of disagreement with conservatives and ... continue reading


Moves made to oust John Boehner from Speaker of the House position Watch

Image of Rep. Mark Meadows [not pictured] declared his intention a day before the House was set to leave town for its five-week summer recess. Described as a rare procedural move, it's by far the most serious expression of opposition to Boehner's [pictured] speakership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many of his fellow conservatives and Republicans were taken by surprise when North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said he was trying to oust Speaker John Boehner. Many say it's a bad idea, coming just before August recess. Others say such a move could plunge the House of ... continue reading


Ivana Trump hotly denies that ex-husband Donald Trump ever raped her Watch

Image of Ivana Trump, the former wife of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has denied claims that he ever raped her.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ivana Trump, the former wife of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has denied claims that he ever raped her. "I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is ... continue reading


HILLARY LIED! Inspector General says personal emails contained classified information Watch

Image of Only allowed to review a sample of 40 out of the total of 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's private email server, four of those emails contained classified information.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton's personal email account "contained classified information when they were generated," "remain classified today" and "should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system." Those are the findings of the U.S. Intelligence ... continue reading


GLOVES ARE OFF: Donald Trump denounces Bush, Walker and Clinton as being beholden to donors Watch

Image of Speaking east of Des Moines, Donald Trump was most concise in his attack upon Walker. Criticizing the Wisconsin governor's handling of his state's economy, Trump accused him of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At a "free-wheeling" press conference, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he is putting no cap into the money he is going to pour into his campaign. A self-made billionaire in real estate, Trump denounced Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Scott ... continue reading


Nuns vs. Obama: Obama Administration refuses to exempt Little Sisters of the Poor from regulation forcing them to distribute birth control Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The national debate over the Affordable Care Act is heating up. A Romantic Catholic group of nuns, who manage a nursing home around the world called the Little Sisters of the Poor, continue their fight against the law's debatable contraceptive mandate. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Millions upon Millions of United Kingdom aid money funneled to the Clintons Watch

Image of The Clinton Health Access Initiative spends its funds on improving the treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world, such as in Africa and Southeast Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Influential people, falling sway to a former United States president - and his wife, with eyes on the White House, it was learned that tens of millions of pounds of United Kingdom aid money has been siphoned through charities linked to Hillary Clinton. LOS ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:4 "These ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11
3 blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2015 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter