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Let the privacy debate begin
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rick Holmes
June 8, 2013 12:16 p.m.



Color edit toon US spyingA few thoughts on privacy, with more to come:

- We shouldn’t be surprised at the domestic surveillance stuff coming out. As we note today in an editorial, Neither Bush nor Obama promised to rein in domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, and Congress dutifully appropriated billions in new funding to grow its capacity to keep an eye on global electronic communications.

- A “secret court” is, or ought to be, an oxymoron.  I have no way to judge the fairness or competence of the FISA Court, and I have no way to judge the Congressional oversight of it.




- I’m skeptical of the “more data makes us more safe” assumption. As James Bamford says, the NSA keeps making the haystack bigger, making it even harder to find the terrorist needles.




- Google already reads all my e-mail, and it kind of creeps me out. A “60-Minutes” piece reported some retailers are experimenting with using face recognition software  to identify customers as they come in the door, analyzing their consumer interests through web search and credit card data, and sending them a text message directing them to items they should check out.  The government can’t do that, and says it isn’t – yet. Do people care?




- Ed Markey says he’s chair of the “privacy caucus.” What has the caucus done about all this stuff?


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