Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/26/2013 (9 months 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 (9 months 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Are they on to something? Judicial Watch says terrorists are operating in Mexico Watch

Image of Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso in the U.S. House of Representatives, called the area offices of various government agencies in response to a report that Middle Eastern terrorists were operating across the border in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Judicial Watch, a controversial Web site that maintains that Middle Eastern terrorists are operating just cross the border from the United States from Mexico is evidently stirring up waves. Federal law enforcement sources in El Paso, Texas say that a United ... continue reading


CLOTHES HORSE: Wasserman Schultz losing confidence among Democrats Watch

Image of Stylish  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman has alienated members of her own party by reportedly demanding that the party pick up the tab for her wardrobe!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two "faux pas" have alienated Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her party. Her criticism of the White House's handling of the border crisis and comparing tea party members to abusive husbands have alienated her constituency at ... continue reading


Supreme Court justice Sotomayor warns about drones encroaching on American way of life Watch

Image of Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that she's particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unmanned surveillance planes called drones pose a threat to the privacy of American citizens, warns Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Speaking to students at Oklahoma City University's law school, Sotomayor says that frightening changes in technology ... continue reading


Obama says Islamic State 'is not Islamic' - what are they, then? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama vowed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria, He intends to do so with airstrikes and a minimal military presence on the ground. The president also declared that the Islamic State terrorists "are not Islamic." ... continue reading


Obama vows to attack Islamic State militants 'wherever they exist' Watch

Image of There has been some progress made against the group. After more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in the past month, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have halted the Islamic State advance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist." Obama will be sending a limited U.S. military presence of 475 personnel. The president also declared that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition ... continue reading


Opinion: We Need a Blue Collar Conservative like Rick Santorum in the 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum is not an establishment candidate. He threatens establishment leaders in both major political parties. he has always played the role of the underdog and been counted out by the many self professed experts. That is one of the greatest assets he would bring to the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the potential to draw voters from across party lines and help to forge a new governing coalition which can resuscitate the American dream and set us on a course to brighter future. I sincerely hope he runs.

By Keith A. Fournier

Rick Santorum is a statesman in an age of salesmen - and women. He is a man with a chest.  I will be watching his movements over the next few months. If he decides to run, and I hope he does, he will bring along with him into his presidential campaign a ... continue reading


Pelosi favors sweeping regulations to save net neutrality and ban Internet 'fast lanes' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an unpopular stand for many Republicans, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she wants to give federal regulators sweeping new powers over Internet access. It's a necessity in order to save net neutrality and protect Internet users, she says. ... continue reading


READY TO STRIKE: President Obama prepared to use airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of President Obama believes he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have spoken with the president recently.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From admitting that he had no policy in regards to Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama is now ready for some clear decisive action. The president says that he is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria in order to defeat the militant jihadist group ... continue reading


Real cost of Obamacare - 350,000 jobs loss and premium hikes for small businesses Watch

Image of Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new analysis of the effects of the health-care reform law, Obamacare has taken a toll on small businesses. According to a new study, there have been millions of dollars in reduced pay and hundreds of thousands fewer jobs. In short - many ... continue reading


More emails 'lost' connected to Lois Lerner case Watch

Image of IRS teacher Lois Lerner, who was placed on leave and has since retired, has emerged as the key figure in congressional investigations.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the most recent development, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS says it has lost emails from five more employees' part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... 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, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... 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