Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama Asks Congress for Access to Your Internet Records: Your Prescribed Drugs are Already in a Government Database

Obama is asking Congress for the right to access your Internet records - presumably everything you have done on the web, without a Court giving him the authority to do so. Without any authority, the government is already keeping your prescription drug information in a government database. Think that doesn't include you? AVirginia Tech student's records were in a government database, not a hospital or doctor's database - but in a Federal database. Read the story below.


Quote:
“Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.” To call that an out-of-control, privacy-destroying Surveillance State is to understate the case. ~ Glenn Greenwald
Something else I read in Greenwald's article, unrelated to our Internet records, is that the government keeps a database on every drug each of us are prescribed and take.
When Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007, this passage appeared buried in an ABC News report on the incident: “Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government’s files.” Such “files” are maintained through a 2005 lawwhich, the Government claims, authorizes it to monitor and record all prescription drug use by all citizens via so-called “Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.” And there is a slew of other under-discussed surveillance programs whereby the U.S. government stores vast data on our private activities: everything from every domestic telephone call we maketo “risk assessment” records based on our travel activities. A bipartisan group of Senators iscurrently promoting mandated “biometric ID cards” for every American as a purported solution to illegal immigration.
From GlobalResearch.ca:

"The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual's internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.
"In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that "the administration wants to add just four words--'electronic communication transactional records'--to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval."
"Under cover of coughing-up information deemed relevant to espionage or terrorism investigations, proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) would greatly expand the volume of private records that can be seized through National Security Letters (NSLs).
From Glenn Greenwald at CATO:
Not only has Obama, in the wake of this massive expansion, blocked any reforms, he has taken multiple steps to further expand unaccountable and unchecked surveillance power. For the last year, the Obama Justice Department has been trying to convince federal courts to extend its warrantless surveillance powers beyond even what the Patriot Act provides to encompass private email and Internet browsing records, a position which would allow the FBI and other federal agencies to acquire email and browsing records of American citizens — including those who are not suspected of any wrongdoing — without any warrants or judicial supervision of any kind. With defeat in the courts appearing likely, it wasrecently revealed by The Washington Post that the administration is agitating for Congressional action to amend the Patriot Act to include such Internet and browsing data among the records obtainable by NSLs.
Not only has Obama, in the wake of this massive expansion, blocked any reforms, he has taken multiple steps to further expand unaccountable and unchecked surveillance power. For the last year, the Obama Justice Department has been trying to convince federal courts to extend its warrantless surveillance powers beyond even what the Patriot Act provides to encompass private email and Internet browsing records, a position which would allow the FBI and other federal agencies to acquire email and browsing records of American citizens — including those who are not suspected of any wrongdoing — without any warrants or judicial supervision of any kind. With defeat in the courts appearing likely, it wasrecently revealed by The Washington Post that the administration is agitating for Congressional action to amend the Patriot Act to include such Internet and browsing data among the records obtainable by NSLs. 
Greenwald's article is long and packed with information that I did not know, and bet you don't know either.


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