Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/24/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Database includes minor citations, traffic and incident reports, and pawn shop records even if there's no crime.

As if we weren't being watched enough, Americans can add the U.S. military to the list of agencies collecting information about them. Known as the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LinX), the database is reported to have 506.3 million law enforcement records including information on minor accidents, parking tickets, and incidents where no crime was suspected of happening. Even pawn shop records are included.

Why is the Navy collecting data on what happens to you? Should this even be a question anymore?

Why is the Navy collecting data on what happens to you? Should this even be a question anymore?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/24/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: NCIS, Navy, spying, Obama, politics, privacy, confession, smartphone


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If you get a parking ticket, or are in a fender-bender, chances are you may find yourself in the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LinX), a massive database maintained by the U.S. Military, specifically the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Yes, NCIS is spying on individual citizens who have ho connection whatsoever to the military, aggregating even trivial information. Even "field information cards" filled out by officers when no crime has occurred are included. The database even includes records taken from pawn shops.

Catholic Online needs your support!

The LinX is an information clearing house maintained by the NCIS and used by law enforcement agencies across the nation to exchange information. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies all use the database.

Concerns have been voiced that the military is involved in civilian law enforcement operations when it shouldn't be as a matter of law.

What business does the U.S. Navy have with your traffic citation information, especially if you have never served in the Navy?

According to the Washington Examiner, the U.S. military has spied on citizens before. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army spied on civilians and after 9/11, the Air Force spied on Americans. In those cases, especially after 9/11, the military was looking for people with ties to terrorism.

How much information is enough?

Our government is reflecting a societal obsession with safety, liability, and control. In an effort to hold safety paramount to all other concerns, we are sacrificing privacy in great quantity. While such efforts may start with sincerely benevolent intentions, they are seductively easy to pervert and as history shows, people are quick to corruption.

Already, the infamous NSA database has been exploited for inappropriate purposes. Reports emerged last year that agents were spying on love interests, and the NSA provided information to the IRS, which the IRS doctored in a failed attempt to conceal its origin because of a standing rule that sharing the information wasn't allowed. Federal officials all the way up to the President himself have openly lied to the American people about these databases and how they are being used. Nor does there appear to be any effective safeguards for the people.

Former president Jimmy Carter himself admits to using snail mail to communicate now, for fear of his communications being read, and last week Gmail finally encrypted their email.

Conversely, nobody can say that these massive data collection efforts are effective in stopping terrorism or improving public safety. As Edward Snowden himself said, "it's about control."

The NCIS was asked by the Washington Examiner to explain why they were keeping a civilian database. Their answer was less than satisfactory, simply explaining that they needed to access law enforcement records to help solve crimes.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner learned that the FBI has built its own database known as the National Data Exchange.

The Navy system and the FBI system are also connected.

There is a distinct possibility that the multiple databases from agencies such as the NSA, FBI and NCIS are all well-linked and integrated and that the U.S. government can aggregate a comprehensive dossier on an individual U.S. citizen at will. Such information could include more than tax returns and traffic tickets. It could include browsing habits online, the content of voicemail and phone calls, and even private information such as magazine, website, and club subscriptions, banking information, and who your friends are. Claims have even been made that the NSA can swiftly tell if a person is having an affair.

Incidentally, similar claims have been made about Facebook, which aggregates large quantities of personal information.

At least one other firm claims to have developed an app that can even predict what you will be doing in the future, based on detailed records of your past. Such an app would have powerful commercial application because marketers could serve the most relevant advertisements at the most appropriate times.

Already, smartphones are equipped to spy on us. Smartphones have barometers. Their GPS systems cannot be deactivated, even if you are not using the feature. And microphones on your smartphone can listen to the detail of your conversation.

Turning off your smartphone isn't a defense either. Even phones that are powered off can still record important data about you and submit it to your provider, whose records are then subject to NSA aggregation.

Privacy is important. Omniscience is the realm of God, and none other. If we choose to reveal our private selves in public, or we make choices (such as having an affair) that is discovered, we have none to blame but ourselves. Yet what happens when our most private thoughts and opinions can't even be privately shared without fear of exposure?

Is the Catholic confessional the last bastion of privacy? Perhaps not if you have your cellphone with you.

To those that want to control everything for purposes of power and profit, nothing is sacred. What happens when one day a man enters a confessional and testifies to an affair, then afterwards uses his smartphone only to be confronted with advertisements for websites that advertise dating for married men?

Alternatively, what about the person who confesses to a crime, perhaps years or decades after the fact, and instead of the opportunity after confession to hand oneself over to the authorities, the authorities are already found waiting outside the church?

These are far-fetched scenarios, but to those that would dismiss them, let us remember that just over a year ago the notion that our government was spying on us, and aggregating every scrap of information on our lives, was also farfetched.

What will be known in just another year?

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Keith A Fournier: Why I Will Not Give Up On Politics Watch

Image of

By Keith A Fournier

Like many in the United States, I am trying to make sense out of what is happening to this Nation which we love. The temptation, so clearly present in our circles, is to fall into two separate approaches, both of which can lead to error. One is to completely ... continue reading


TIME TO PAY: Uninsured in 2014 will have to pay tax penalty Watch

Image of Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is time to pay the piper. If you disregarded signing up for Obamacare in 2014 or failed to make payments - you are going to have to pay a fine. As Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they will have to contend with Obamacare's ... continue reading


'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... 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, Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
1 Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope ... Read More

Psalm, Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
69 and he has established for us a saving power in ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:35-41
35 With the coming of evening that same day, he said ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 31st, 2015 Image

St. John Bosco
January 31: What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random ... 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