Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Holy Crap, Batman, Privacy is Extinct!!!

Just a few links to today's articles on the use and abuse of private, personal information by Federal and State Agencies.

You and your children cannot opt out of a vast Pentagon database of extremely broad types of information about our nation's children.

License data for sale in Minnesota. "A business can buy the personal data, height, weight, address and driver's license number, of the state's (MN) 3.5 million driver's license holders for $1,500. Not only have a number of businesses already received this information, but officials say it has also ended up on PublicData.com, a website they call a known tool for identity thieves."

Medical records, apparently, are also perused by the government. Those of us old enough will remember the status 4F (and probably all the other folks on the "Group W Bench"). Well such folks now are prime recruits, and according to a conversation I had not so long ago with Salette Latas. Her son, Jesse, got a call from a recruiter who knew all the details of his then current state of being in remission but, but not that he had joined the reserves and was on his way to Iraq "Most of the services required at least five years of remission before considering a cancer patient for enlistment. In the fall of 2004, the Army changed their policy because of low enlistment numbers and recruited Jesse into the Army Reserve." After the conversation with the recruiter who had called for Jesse, Salette, a veteran herself, realized that the recruiter had to have been digging through a pile of cancer kids files who were previously ineligible for duty.

The ethics of sending recent remission status kids to an area of the world where they will be exposed to levels of stress that could jeopardize the remission as well as depleted uranium munitions (that have impact on health that is hotly debated) are questionable at the least. This particular conversation with Salette occurred before Jesse's leukemia returned and he was evacuated to Germany and then Walter Reed. Jesse is now home in Tucson.

These issues are not all leftist in nature, which the current administration would lead you to believe. Jesse's dad and Salette's husband is Jeff Latas, a retired Air Force Colonel who is running to represent AZ District 8 (that just happens to be my district) in the U.S. House of Representatives seat that Jim Kolbe announced he will be leaving. Jeff is among the dozens of Veterans getting in races to fight the GOP in what will be extremely significant November elections.

Of course all violations of privacy are not perpetrated on kids; pacifists get it too.

Of course all those spied upon and those with private data collected are in very good company.

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