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Big Brother wants into your hard drive

The phrase “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” sounds innocent enough. Who could be against such an agreement? But in fact it appears to be a pretext for a massive invasion of privacy, motivated in part by the entertainment industry seeking to maintain copyrights. But once unleashed, such an assault on freedom will know no bounds. What if Big Brother finds on your laptop that you think ID supports certain traditional moral views, and what if any articulation of such views comes to be regarded as a hate crime?

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26 Responses to Big Brother wants into your hard drive

  1. The details of ACTA are unavailable, on the grounds of national security (!), which doesn’t help me feel any better.

    The copyright lobby seems to own Congress – witness the history of extensions to the length of copyrights. This doesn’t make me feel any better, either.

    And, it’s a treaty. I’m not sure, legally, that a constitutional challenge can be brought to bear against a treaty. (I’m not sure that it can’t, either.)

    But I think that using it to do general snooping on peoples’ hard drives will not survive constitutional muster – after it has ruined somebody’s life and finances.

  2. This is why you need to stay armed. And as my barber once told me “and if they come for your guns, you give em the bullets first.”

    But seriously, the government of man is always going to be naturally corrupt simply because man kind is – and always has been and will be- that is, it is our natural state of imperfection (and we have a lot of them) that makes us so. So every law that they pass will be abused in some way at some point. And that is why I am for limited government- and against this kind of stuff. I say “Trust in the provisions of God and not the promises of man.” That means trust the word of God and not lies of man- like those who say this wont be abused.

    And to make a good political point- where are all the outraged left wingers? Remember they were so angered about Bushes patriot act? They should be marching about this- except that they probably are counting on using it for their own benefits now that they have the congress and presidency. Invasion of privacy is only a moral issue for them when the other side is in. Just like with the wars. They marched when Bush was in but Obama is in now and nothing has changed and the anti-war crowed doesn’t mind anymore now that they have the power. Cause they never cared as much as they made it look.

  3. This would be no less than illegal search and seizure.

  4. But in fact it appears to be a pretext for a massive invasion of privacy, motivated in part by the entertainment industry seeking to maintain copyrights.

    Aren’t you and other contributors part of this industry as an author? I guess you wouldn’t be amused if you realize your material would be copied without your permission.
    Actually, what is the copyright status of UD content? Is it public domain? Does it belong to the contributors / commenters or to the blog owner(s)?

  5. This is why you need to stay armed.

    As a Christian, I can think of no good reason, consistent with my faith, to pull a gun and kill someone with it.

    And if i am not willing to kill with it, why should I bother to carry it?

    Silver lining:

    motivated in part by the entertainment industry seeking to maintain copyrights.

    Doesn’t that strengthen the case for ID?

  6. They can have my hard drive when they pry it from my cold dead hand.

    The next bumper sticker?

  7. As a long-time libertarian, I whole-heartedly agree with Dr. Dembski on this one. Regardless of which side of the evolution/ID debate you fall, the idea that the government can get into your hard drive and monitor your files is extraordinarily upsetting. The United States was founded by people who wished to escape from precisely the kind of all-pervasive government control that the ACTA represents.

    And, as a libertarian, I strongly believe that the entire concept of copyright has been distorted to the point that it no longer serves its original purpose, which was to encourage creativity and entrepreneurial initiative by protecting the property rights of people whose primary “property” was intellectual, rather than concrete.

    Given the nature of our interconnected world, it is high time we rethought the whole concept of copyright from the ground up.

    I applaud Dr. Dembski for bringing this issue to our attention, and encourage everyone reading this thread to contact their representatives in government to oppose actions like the ACTA (and you should also contact Ron Paul — the man I believe should be POTUS — who I’m quite certain would be foresquare against the ACTA).

  8. Off Topic: Dr. Dembski, I know a side interest of yours is the politics driving the science behind “Global Warming”. Here is a tidbit that just came out today:

    Controversial New Climate Change Data: Is Earth’s Capacity To Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected?
    Excerpt: New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....141842.htm

    As well, to anyone who is interested, here is a excellent lecture that, in meticulous, very informative, and entertaining manner, puts the lie to much of the philosophically motivated science surrounding Global Warming:

    Apocalypse? No! –
    http://video.google.com/videop.....165214524#

  9. As a Canadian, born citizen on the open prairie in 1950, in a country pestered ever since 1968 by Pierre Trudeau with social welfare bureaucracies – which usually requires the enforcement of lies – this much I know is true:

    Some stupid bureaucrat flying a desk somewhere cannot prevent you being free. Only you can do that.

    Just make sure you have backup somewhere that they cannot get into.

    This does NOT require weapons. I don’t have an opinion about the US Second Amendment, but would only point out by way of explanation that in Toronto in the 1960s, even the police did not carry guns in the streets of Toronto. They did not need guns.

    Okay, it’s all different now, due in large part to foreign-based drug dealers.

    We did not ask for this, but we do fight.

    Anyway, back up your data and send it to a friend the government doesn’t know about.

  10. Frost makes a good point. When the Patriot Act came out and there was this big controversy about it, I thought that I wouldn’t care if anybody was snooping through my email because I hadn’t done anything wrong. Let them look, I’m sure they’d be bored stiff.

    The main thing with this kind of stuff is who is going to get access to the information? I could see a future scenario where, for instance, I’m posting anonymously on the web in favor of ID. The gov’t looks through my computer and finds this out. Somehow it makes its way to the NSF or the NIH and I get grants denied. Honestly, I don’t see that kind of thing happening any time soon. If it’s only the FBI who can see this stuff I don’t really care. Have at it.

    However, it should be illegal to go snooping like this without a court order. The idea that this is a national security issue is preposterous. I don’t know how things finally shook out legally with the Bush policies, but in that case national security was at least a legitimate excuse. The fact that this copyright stuff is being defended on the basis of national security does make me somewhat uneasy. It’s kind of like defending the health care bill on the basis of helping the economy. The problem is that people may actually believe this nonsense, and once reason goes out the window anything could happen.

  11. Denyse if they found illegal files on your computer they wouldn’t just erase them. You would probably be prosecuted and the penalties can be quite severe.

  12. It’s kind of like defending the health care bill on the basis of helping the economy.

    One-sixth of the economy, according to one FOX news guest.

  13. tragic mishap at 11,

    I have long since given up concerning myself about what they could do to me.

    I know what they could do to me; I am a Canadian and an old woman.

    We’ve had plenty of experience with this stuff.

    I would just want to be sure that the information itself is saved for posterity.

  14. The healthcare stuff is a bad part of the economy. It is government spending as opposed to privet enterprise- and the service is horrible at government run hospitals. I was there last winter with my grandmother because she was really sick with the flue- and they just shoved her in this small stall while hey were supposedly waiting for a room to open up. And after like 8 hours I asked them if there was any update on a real room opening up and they acted like they did not care at all and just wanted me out of their face- and said “well let you know sir when we find out.”

    It sucked because there is no incentive for the hospitals and the workers to do a GOOD job. If I wrote a letter of complaint no one would do anything- because they are the only show in town everyone has to accept their lousy service. There needs to be more privatization of hospitals and overall more hospitals being built. That will produce competition and improve quality. Otherwise it will continue to degenerate. Under more socialism that is where things will be heading.

  15. Over 958 architects and engineers have signed a petition at ae911truth.org, doubting the official story of why the WTC towers collapsed, and suggesting that controlled demolitions be considered. Even though they present scientific evidence for this, conservatives balk at this government conspiracy, because Bush and Cheney would be implicated. But conservatives do not hesitate to accuse the government of conspiracies against us when a Democrat is in charge. I’m willing to suspect Obama, even though I’m a liberal Democrat. Too bad conservatives can’t be as open-minded.

  16. Billboe,

    What does the 911 consiracy have to do with nayhting? If there was controlled demolition at the towers that has nothing to do with whether this hard drive invasion is right or wrong. The patriot act had to do with monitoring the communications of real suspects who were contacting countires outside of the US. It was for protecting the US against another 911 type plot. Of course with the increase in world technology and such the next plot could involve a WMD attack. This is reality and t was a necessary inconvient bill. This new thing is way too general and really is just a power grab by government over the people.

    Could the 911 towers been blown up by bombs after the plan crash? Maybe. But there really is not that much good evidence to support this. I can see how one would consider it just watching the towers fall i that organized a fashion- but it is not a valid case to say that it must have been a controlled demolition simply because one physicist thinks the physics show this. There are plenty of physicists that think the buildings fell just as they should have with no additional demolition. And this site is not for 911 consiracies- just like it is not for talking about how the Clinton adminstration could have covered up the TWA 800 crash that over 200 wittneses said they saw a missile hit.

    My point was that the DEMs refuse to get up in arms about all kinds of issues they claimed to be adamant about wen Bush was in. The Wars are still going and they are not marching- and now these kinds of concerns about privacy and government power don’t seem to bother them as much. It shows that they really just want to be in charge.

  17. Frost asks: :What does the 911 consiracy have to do with nayhting? If there was controlled demolition at the towers that has nothing to do with whether this hard drive invasion is right or wrong.

    If our government conducted a false flag operation in order to provide an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and to increase government monitoring and control of us, then it has everything to do with this thread.

    Could the 911 towers been blown up by bombs after the plan crash? Maybe. But there really is not that much good evidence to support this.

    There is enough good evidence to convince over 950 architects and engineers. They have a DVD that presents their evidence, that you can watch for free on the internet. Watch it and tell me what you think.

    My point was that the DEMs refuse to get up in arms about all kinds of issues they claimed to be adamant about wen Bush was in. The Wars are still going and they are not marching- and now these kinds of concerns about privacy and government power don’t seem to bother them as much. It shows that they really just want to be in charge.

    Point well taken.

  18. Bilboe this is not the place for you to put up all of this fringe 911 conspiracy stuff. There is NO. That is zero- hard core evidence that the government was involved in an inside operation. ANd it has NOTHING to do – as I said before- with whether this Hard drive invasion is rigth or wrong. You dont need to be a conspiracy theorist to know that this is a invasion of privacy and most likely unconstituitonal.

    You 911 for truth people were the ones who made all kinds of insane alligations about there not being a plane that flew into the pentagon when there were hundreads of wittnesses. And almost no one, save maybe a few crack pots, said they saw a missile hit it. And your side for truth claimed that there was no plane that crashed in Pennsylvania- yet there have been interviews with the guy form the morgue who delt with the dead bodies.

    I mean some of the outlandish allegations are crazy. But you guys deny the evidence against your theory and put forth even more insane explanations like voice copying technologies and so forth- which would not have necessary- and of course the calls came when the plane was at a low enough height for cell phones and the plane phones to work- despite the contrary claims.

    So it is your side that is disinterested in the truth- or at least in my personal view you guys are fueled by and more interested in progressing an anti- Bush and republican agenda than actually perusing interesting questions and sincere inquiries.

    I have no doubt that people like yourselves have convinced yourselves into believing this- but just like Roswell and the supposed UFO crash- that does not mean it actually happened.

    If the question is “could their have been a bigger list of players in the 911 attacks? Like could there have been inside government help- from some people- of or in control of the security of the towers? Or could their have been bombs inside the towers? These are somewhat reasonable questions- but most of the people claiming to be for 911 truth are actually for slandering Bush and republicans- saying absurd things like Cheney was behind everything- because they hated them long before they ever had the personal revelation that 911 was an inside job.

    The point is that your side jumps to the conclusion before they have any case beyond a reasonable doubt. And that shows the real motives. And of course most of these people are totally uninterested in the TWA 800 crash which had for more compelling evidence of a missile and cover up then the 911 theory does. In TWA you have over 200 people who on the night of and day after said the saw a missile hit the plane. And you have plenty of evidence of cover up. But there is little or no interest from your side on that one because it was Clinton and his administration that was in when it happened.

    Personally I am always interested in these things. I think the no plane into the pentagon part is nuts- and I think the no plan crash in Pennsylvania is nuts- because when plane hits soft wet soil at over 500 mph there is not going to be much left.

    However I will admit that there is a very strange uniformity to how the towers fell- and there are some circumstantial points that warrant some more investigation or some theoretical “speculation”- but most of the people on the 911 or for truth side are not for truth but against Bush/republicans and nor the government in general.

    Once again, this is NOT the site to have this debate. This is an intelligent design web site- the only reason this story is of interest is because ID is a minority view in the public sector that has a right to be concerned about majority.

    If people want to see a debate with the authors of the 911 conspiracy theory movie and a debunker you can see it here and make up your own minds. 911 for truth is not a good place to go first because it’s goal is to forward the conspiracy theory without equal time and respect paid to the opposing side.

    http://video.google.com/videos.....38;tab=wv#

  19. Hi Frost,

    The DVD that I recommended that you watch was put together by architects and engineers at ae911truth.org. It presents the physical evidence for the controlled demolitions of the WTC towers. It doesn’t talk about the Pentagon or the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. All it does it present the physical evidence for the controlled demolitions of the WTC towers. It doesn’t even try to blame it on Bush and Cheney. So far, over 950 architects and engineers have been convinced by the evidence.

    It does belong at an ID website, because we ID proponents claim that we are able to detect design, even though we don’t know who the designer might be. If so, then we should be able to view the DVD and determine whether the evidence is good enough to support the theory of controlled demolitions.

    If controlled demolitions of the WTC towers took place, then it is very likely that somebody “inside” planned it and that a coverup has occurred. Since Obama has continued the coverup, we Democrats must admit that whatever is going on is bigger than just those “evil” Republicans. Which is what I now admit. So I see the current plan to invade the privacy of our computers as just another step in some diabolical plan or other.

  20. Ok Bob the last point I will make is that “consensus” based conclusions is exactly what ID “opposes.” That is, just because you have a lot of scientists or architects agreeing on a particular theory like Darwinism or controlled demolitions of buildings- does not at all make it true. It would not matter if you had one billion architects- ID is only interested in drawing the correct inferences. Unfortunately I am not a physicist or an architect and so I have no reason to believe the testimonies of these in the video you site. I know that there are plenty of architects that disagree with their conclusions as well. And quite frankly there really is no sound evidence at all except for physical speculation that a controlled demolition occurred. And I cannot say that it did not occur- and I do not oppose people’s right to research this or propose a theory- but people like yourself are sold on this idea and I think you have no reason to be sold on it except for some personal disdain for the country or Bush or Cheney or Republicans etc.

    I watched “some of” your video. First of all the demolitions they show of other building start at the bottom of the buildings- but the twin towers began at the top- as can be seen here at 2 minutes and 15 seconds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMZ-nkYr46w

    SO there is an obvious problem right there that can be seen using their own evidence.

    I think your side does a lot of work to believe in this because you all want to- but not out of the goodness of your hearts but out of your hatred for America etc. That is how I read it. I have studied this and all of the original claims like the pentagon plane and the Pennsylvanian plane have turned out to be false despite all the while making a lot of people believe these claims- which slandered people and made people look like fools.. The conspiracy theory has done more bad than good so far.

    But all of this has little to do with ID. Yes their can be design detection applied to the fall of the towers – but we can also apply ID to all kinds of other things. This site is about things like biology, genetics and cosmology- that is, Origins- because that is where ID sees itself as making it’s most important contributions- in a public domain overrun with Darwinism.

  21. Hi Frost,

    You wrote: “Ok Bob the last point I will make is that “consensus” based conclusions is exactly what ID “opposes.” That is, just because you have a lot of scientists or architects agreeing on a particular theory like Darwinism or controlled demolitions of buildings- does not at all make it true. It would not matter if you had one billion architects- ID is only interested in drawing the correct inferences.

    I agree with you completely, Frost. However, most of these A&Es were unfamiliar with the evidence, and just assumed that the official version — that the buildings were brought down by the planes and fires — was correct. It was only after they examined the evidence that they changed their minds. And that parallels Darwinism directly. Most biologists assume that it is true, because that’s what they’re taught. It’s only after they are willing to examine the evidence with an open mind that they change their opinion.

    Unfortunately I am not a physicist or an architect and so I have no reason to believe the testimonies of these in the video you site.

    This DVD is not just a bunch of “testimonies.” It is a presentation of the physical evidence for controlled demolitions.

    I know that there are plenty of architects that disagree with their conclusions as well.

    I doubt that the architects who disagree have seen the evidence. But likewise, there are plenty of biologists who disagree with ID.

    And quite frankly there really is no sound evidence at all except for physical speculation that a controlled demolition occurred.

    You wouldn’t say that if you watched the whole DVD.

    …I think you have no reason to be sold on it except for some personal disdain for the country or Bush or Cheney or Republicans etc.

    That’s called an ad hominem attack, Frost. People who disagree with ID use it against us all the time, e.g., “You only believe in ID because you’re a religious fanatic.”

    I watched “some of” your video. First of all the demolitions they show of other building start at the bottom of the buildings- but the twin towers began at the top-

    See, Frost, if you had just watched the whole DVD, you would have seen examples of controlled demolitions that start at the middle and at the top of buildings.

    I think your side does a lot of work to believe in this because you all want to- but not out of the goodness of your hearts but out of your hatred for America etc.

    Another ad hominem attack. Are you sure you believe in ID? You would make a really good opponent of ID. You argue just the way they do. And no, I don’t hate America. I want America to be a righteous nation. That’s why I’m willing to criticize it, just the way the prophets criticized ancient Israel. It is the false prophets who only see the good things about the country they live in.

    The conspiracy theory has done more bad than good so far.

    It has taught me to distrust my own Democratic party as much as I distrust the Republican party. I think that’s a good thing.

    But all of this has little to do with ID. Yes their can be design detection applied to the fall of the towers – but we can also apply ID to all kinds of other things. This site is about things like biology, genetics and cosmology- that is, Origins- because that is where ID sees itself as making it’s most important contributions- in a public domain overrun with Darwinism.

    This thread is about the potential dangers of a government conspiring against its citizens. If 9/11 was about our government conspiring against us, then it strengthens Dembski’s case.

    This blog — Uncommon Descent — is willing to explore all sorts of topics unrelated to ID, such as global warming. I suggest that they explore 9/11, since it is about design detection, and since it goes against the official story, just as ID goes against the official story of Darwinism.

  22. Bob were are doe here. You wrote,

    “That’s called an ad hominem attack, Frost.”

    in regards to my quote-

    “…I think you have no reason to be sold on it except for some personal disdain for the country or Bush or Cheney or Republicans etc.”

    No Bob that is NOT an ad homienem attack. I did not call you a name and use that as an argument against your position. I gave an very well thought out argument and evidence for it. My point is that “I think” or “suspect” you have no other reason to keep perusing this 911 conspiracy except for the fact that you want to beat the star man of anti-americanism- because I see no other reason. You are just trying to slander me personally because your position is too weak and unrelated to ID for most people here- or anywhere- to accept it.

    And you are using a modernist interpretation of the term “ad homninem” which is supposedly defined as “an argument to a person”- when all arguments between two people are “to a person”. People always argue with one another. What your tyrying to say is that I have no right to speculate about your TRUE motivations. Well too bad I did.

    This is not the place for 911 conspiracies.

    The classical definition of ad hominem means to argue against someone’s “position” (not point out their likely motivations) by labeling them in to a certain group. My point is not that you are nuts, or a liar, or a democrat, or an anti-american- bu that you have no strong evidence to be so “ADAMANT” about your view. SO I infer that you have an obvious personal bias. This is the same reasoning one uses to infer a newspaper has a certain bias. It is not adhominem and it is aside from the real argument I made which is one of substance and I gave you a video clip to support my point– but the truth is that you have no strong evidence so you have to resort to attacking the procedure of my post as opposed to the substance. And you fail to understand that my opinions of your motivations are not meant to be arguments against your position but you and your side’s conviction when there is no evidence- and reasoning is purely speculative.

    This is not the place to debate 911. I would appreciate the moderator blocking your future posts if you continue to bring up this fringe issue which is unrelated to ID.

  23. OK, Frost, I won’t argue whether or not your attack on my motives is strictly an ad hominem attack or not. I’ll just say that it is very similar to the sort of things that ID critics say about proponents of ID, when they have nothing better to say. And you have nothing better to say.

    Of course, whether or not discussing the physical evidence for controlled demolitions of the WTC towers belongs in this thread or in this blog is up to the moderator. But I think I’ve explained why I think it belongs in both.

  24. Ok Bob. I don’t mind people writing about 911 conspiracy theory speculations, or especially openly and publicly debating and blogging about it- but I do not think this is the forum to debate whatever there is to debate about 911. And I dont mean anyhting personal against you- my points have just been aimed against your posts and in particular why I find them troubling in light of what I have concluded to be a significant lack of the evidence necessary to support such an adamant acceptace of the 911 conspiracy theory by it’s many advocates. If you are really for 911 TRUTH- then I wish you the best accuracy in your research on the subject- whatever the truth turns out to be.

  25. Hi Frost,

    You wrote: “…but I do not think this is the forum to debate whatever there is to debate about 911.

    Hmmm, in a thread where Dembski is warning us about a potential government conspiracy against us, you don’t think debate about 9/11 is relevant? Interesting. And in a blog where global warming is often talked about because Dembski and others doubt the official line, and since they doubt the official line against ID, they see relevance, yet you do not think discussing alternate theories about 9/11 are as relevant, even though they also include the question of design detection? Interesting.

    And I dont mean anyhting personal against you…

    Even though you have claimed that I hate America?

    - my points have just been aimed against your posts and in particular why I find them troubling in light of what I have concluded to be a significant lack of the evidence necessary to support such an adamant acceptace of the 911 conspiracy theory by it’s many advocates.

    You have concluded that there is a significant lack of evidence, even though you refuse to watch their DVD. Interesting.

    If you are really for 911 TRUTH- then I wish you the best accuracy in your research on the subject- whatever the truth turns out to be.

    Thank you, Frost. But I think there has already been ample research to support ae911truth.org’s position. It’s just that no one is willing to look at their evidence, just as most people aren’t willing to look at the evidence for ID.

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