“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,” according to the queen of the free spirits, the late Janis Joplin.
The funny thing about freedom is that my freedom starts to get itchy where it begins to infringe on your rights.
And then there is the bigger issues of freedom, such as are being considered by federal officials, as explained by the Associated Press in a recent article on the need to mine Internet social media for important information:
“The Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also have solicited the private sector for ways to automate the process of identifying emerging threats and upheavals using the billions of posts people around the world share every day.
“‘Social media has emerged to be the first instance of communication about a crisis, trumping traditional first responders that included police, firefighters, EMT, and journalists,’ the FBI wrote in its request. ‘Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting.’
“The proposals already have raised privacy concerns among advocates who worry that such monitoring efforts could have a chilling effect on users.
“Ginger McCall, director of the open government project at the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the FBI has no business monitoring legitimate free speech without a narrow, targeted law enforcement purpose.”
“‘Any time that you have to worry about the federal government following you around peering over your shoulder listening to what you’re saying, it’s going to affect the way you speak and the way that you act,’ McCall said.”
You have people finding ways to gather information that is being openly posted on the worldwide web — it’s open to the world, hence the name — and they are going to use that information for indications of dangerous behavior.
They could actually stop an attack on innocent people.
That is worth the effort and it certainly is not hampering anyone’s freedom.
— Chuck Smith