Monday, January 31, 2011

Small Government, Republican Style

Lessee: so far, dozens of health-care killing bills, but not a one addressing jobs. Anyone surprised about that?

Meanwhile, for the governmentsmallophiles among us, there's this:

The House Republicans' first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing.

A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users' activities for later review by police.

Now I'm not naive enough to think that the government isn't already capable of knowing every site to which I've surfed. After all, having embedded a couple of lines of free code on this here blog allows me to know the IP addresses of who comes by, when, from where, for how long, from what general area (I can zoom down to street location, but, based on checking my own visits, it misses by several miles), what browser and operating system they're using, screen size, and probably a bunch of other stuff, too. For ten bucks a month, I could be getting lots more.

So it's hardly news, on one level. But on another -- namely forcing private enterprises to store data for government access, for the purpose of tracking individual activities -- it's hardly libertarioteaworthy, is it?

And that's not all: they want to intimidate track people who request information under the FOIA:

WASHINGTON — Representative Darrell Issa calls it a way to promote transparency: a request for the names of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, business executives, journalists and others who have requested copies of federal government documents in recent years.

Mr. Issa, a California Republican and the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he wants to make sure agencies respond in a timely fashion to Freedom of Information Act requests and do not delay them out of political considerations.

But his extraordinary request worries some civil libertarians. It “just seems sort of creepy that one person in the government could track who is looking into what and what kinds of questions they are asking,” said David Cuillier, a University of Arizonajournalism professor and chairman of the Freedom of Information Committee at the Society of Professional Journalists. “It is an easy way to target people who he might think are up to no good.”

Sure. He only wants the info for our own good. But can you imagine the noise from the RWS™ if it were a Democrat doing this? How about if it were our president? The black guy? Would Rush be silent?


Anonymous said...

Let's all request some information on Mr. Issa (Arabic for Jesus) regarding two youthful escapades - one while a student in Cleveland and one while a soldier in Pennsylvania he was involved in car thefts.

How ironic that he made his money manufacturing car alarms.

He was arrested by San Jose police on a felony auto-theft charge in February 1980


And now, he is making laws for us!!!


Sid Schwab said...

Well, life is about second chances. Unless you're pallin' around with former terrorists who've become upstanding citizens...

Sam Spade said...

Sid: 14.5 pound spleen. Yes. Backstory.

I hope you don't take out your scalpels and look at them sadly tonight.

Sid Schwab said...

Not exactly relevant to the post; but we are talking about size, so...

I've taken out a few spleens, for the same condition, that were close in size, but probably not quite there.

Sam said...

"I've taken out a few spleens ... that were close in size"

I'll be damned. Anyway, thanks for indulging my. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

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