Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Phone-hacking scandal highlights danger of intrusive government

Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle release the following statement today:

"As I have watched this tabloid phone-hacking scandal unfold, I have been reminded about how delicate our privacy is, and how vulnerable we are to government intrusion into our lives.

"If it's so easy for journalists and private detectives to hack into our emails and phones, just think how much the government, with its much greater resources, can pry into our lives.

"If we find that Apple's iPhones are tracking us, we can stop using their service. And if we find they have harmed us, we can sue them. But if we find that the government is tracking us, there's not much we can do except protest -- and even then, the government often uses our tax dollars to pay for propaganda saying 'There's nothing to worry about.'

"It shows why it is so important that government be strictly limited in its power; and that the public have complete information about what bureaucrats and law enforcement agents are doing.

"The more crimes there are on the books, the more excuses government officials have to sneak peeks at every detail of our private lives.

"Violating other people's privacy is addictive. It's human nature. Once people gain the power to spy on other people's lives, they want to do it more and more. They will constantly seek new ways to do it, and more excuses to justify doing it.

"The government is always threatening to turn into Big Brother. That's why it is so important for vigilant defenders of liberty to fight back: not only to rely on the courts for protection, but to make sure that we only elect politicians who will respect our right to privacy.

"Unfortunately, President Obama does not respect our privacy. He has continued the warrantless wiretapping policy of the George W. Bush administration, and he has even expanded Bush's "state secrets" doctrine, to make it harder for the accused and the public to keep an eye on what his administration is up to.

"Republicans and Democrats in Congress recently joined hands to renew several unjust and unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act. I hope voters will punish them for doing that. In November 2012, I hope voters will recognize that Libertarian candidates consistently adhere to the Constitution and respect all of our rights."

The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:

"1.2 Personal Privacy
Libertarians support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure should include records held by third parties, such as email, medical, and library records. Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating 'crimes' without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes."

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Libertarian Party of Georgia Opposes TSA's Use Of Whole Body Image Security Checkpoints

In response to the recent debate surrounding the Transportation Security Administration's use of Whole Body Image (WBI) scanners, as well as the two cases already recently filed against the TSA by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Rutherford Institute, the Libertarian Party of Georgia announces today their public opposition to the TSA's decision to use these devices in our nation's airports. According to the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) at the time of press, in a statement dated October 28, 2010, "[p]assengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, [and] canine teams, among others."

The Libertarian Party of Georgia holds that these security measures imposed upon private citizens are a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which reads as follows:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." - The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

"The possible health risks associated with the type of radiation used in these machines are not yet well understood, but the detriments to mental well-being and personal liberties are clear," said Daniel N. Adams, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. "What the TSA is calling an 'enhanced pat-down' is not an acceptable alternative to refusal to enter the WBI scanner. While we understand the importance of National and personal security, we do not agree that WBI scans are a necessary or obligate measure for securing the safety of U.S. airline passengers. The federal government wants us to believe that the act of buying a plane ticket from a private company necessitates the passenger forfeit their right to refuse an unlawful search without a warrant by telling us that we are aiding in 'national security measures'. We respectfully disagree, and hold that no citizen should ever have to forfeit those rights under the guise of security."

The Libertarian Party opposes all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders. The resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market. The Libertarian Party of Georgia believes that The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution is an excellent exposition of Libertarian beliefs in individual freedom, limited government, and self-responsibility. Certainly, these measures introduced by the TSA are an invasion of personal right to privacy, and a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Libertarian Party is Georgia?s third largest political party and the only party in Georgia promoting fewer taxes, less government and personal liberty for all Georgians. To learn more, please visit www.LPGeorgia.com.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Byron York - Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice. More :Byron York - Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

Monday, November 15, 2010

WND Exclusive: Stop Airport Humiliation: Pink Slip TSA's Perverted Gropers

Conducting interviews on this topic is Washington, D.C. staff writer for WND.com, Brian Fitzpatrick.
Send every member of Congress letter of protest in 1 minute
(c) 2010 WND.com

Do you want to put a stop to airport humiliation through invasive "pat-downs" and "virtual strip searches"?

Now you can generate individual letters of protest of these new "enhanced" security procedures by the Transportation Security Administration to every member of the House and Senate, as well as Barack Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in one minute, announces Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, who spearheaded the historic "Send Congress a Pink Slip" campaign that buried Congress in 9 million letters of grievance and another campaign that helped free railroaded Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Campeon.

The innovative campaign called "STOP AIRPORT HUMILIATION NOW" permits anyone to deliver 537 letters, with delivery guaranteed by Fed Ex, to all those officials - putting them on notice that Americans are angry and will not tolerate these abuses of privacy.

Because of the volume of these messages, WND is able to send them less expensively than American citizens could send them individually. Through this program, you can send the 437 messages for only $29.95. To replicate that feat individually, postage alone would cost more than $192. But the impact of participating in the "STOP AIRPORT HUMILIATION CAMPAIGN" makes your protest much more impressive - being a part of a mass movement, rather than an individual grievance, explained Farah.

"You would think these people in Washington didn't notice the election results this month," said Farah. "Well, maybe they need a reminder that the people are not resting on their laurels and will not accept being treated like cattle before they get on an airplane." Americans have been expressing their outrage since the new "enhanced" security procedures by the TSA went into effect Nov. 1.

"Heads should roll over this kind of abuse - namely Janet 'Big Sis' Napolitano's," said Farah.

WND simultaneously established a free on-line petition to these same officials. Similar petitions launched by WND have attracted nearly 600,000 virtual signatures.

"If $29.95 is not in your budget right now, at least sign the free petition," urges Farah. "I understand what politicians in Washington have done to our economy. But don't let them cow you into silence as they march us like sheep down the road to tyranny and degrading subjugation."

As the letter being sent to officials in Washington states, under the new screening protocols, passengers are subjected to a virtual "strip search" by being required to undergo a humiliating full-body scan, resulting in the display of a graphic image of their naked body to be scrutinized by a TSA agent.

If they choose to "opt out" of the full-body scan, they are forced instead to undergo the same kind of aggressive pat-down that criminals and drug-dealers get, including direct manual contact with their breasts and genitalia. Children are not exempt.

While such degrading and invasive searches certainly violate passengers' Fourth Amendment guarantee to be "secure in their persons ... against unreasonable searches and seizures," the generation of naked images of minor passengers arguably amounts to the creation of illegal child pornography.

Moreover, backscatter X-ray technology is known to produce radiation that is potentially harmful to frequent fliers and airline crew members, which is why the American Pilots Association, representing about 12,000 pilots (including almost all of American Airlines' pilots) has strongly warned its members to refuse the full-body scanning.

This humiliating and degrading new program is already massively unpopular, and obviously subject to horrific abuse. As such, it is certain to result in a significant decline in air travel by Americans at a time when neither the airline industry nor the country can afford another economic crisis.

"Don't wait on taking action," urges Farah. "I am participating in this bargain program - and I urge every single American to do the same. Let's recreate the success of the 'Pink Slip' program and other similar efforts and return sanity and decency to our airports."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Prescription Drug Monitoring Act clears committee

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed a substitute version of SB 418, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act this morning, setting it up for placement on the calendar for the full Senate to vote on before Crossover Day, March 25th. This legislation will establish a state surveillance system for the monitoring of prescribing and dispensing of certain medications.... This database would bypass Fourth Amendment requirements for a warrant for this information.


Our thoughts: This is a clear invasion of privacy and it gives government powers they do not need. We need to be more and more vigilant, even in our great state of Georgia, to ensure that lines are not crossed couched in the name of "doing good". Call and write to stop SB 418.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interesting Video on Privacy / Facebook

The above is two years old. Not sure if privacy policies have changed, if this is accurate. Just thought you might be interested in doing some research...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maybe we should have titled this blog "1984" instead of Privacy Priority...

New Pay Discrimination Bill Would Let Government Collect Payroll Records of Private Companies
– A proposed new law would empower the federal government to collect the payroll information of private companies and analyze it in an effort to prevent gender-based pay discrimination. Known as the Paycheck Fairness Act, the law was passed by the House of Representatives more than one year ago, but it had languished in the Senate until Thursday, when it was taken up in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why no one cares about privacy anymore

Google co-founder Sergey Brin adores the company's social network called Google Buzz. We know this because an engineer working five feet from Brin used Google Buzz to say so.

"I just finished eating dinner with Sergey and four other Buzz engineers in one of Google's cafes," engineer John Costigan wrote a day after the Twitter-and-Facebook-esque service was announced. "He was particularly impressed with the smooth launch and the great media response it generated."

You might call Brin's enthusiasm premature, especially since privacy criticisms prompted Google to make a series of quick changes a few days later. Activists have asked the Federal Trade Commission to "compel" Google to reprogram Buzz a third time to adhere to the no doubt well-informed specifications of Beltway lawyers. A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of an aggrieved second-year law student is underway.


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CDC uses shopper-card data to trace salmonella

As they scrambled recently to trace the source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds around the country, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention successfully used a new tool for the first time — the shopper cards that millions of Americans swipe every time they buy groceries.

With permission from the patients, investigators followed the trail of grocery purchases to a Rhode Island company that makes salami, then zeroed in on the pepper used to season the meat.

Never before had the CDC successfully mined the mountain of data that supermarket chains compile.


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