From the would-be-funnier-if-it-wasn’t-true dept: Camera’s in homes
An anonymous reader writes “In one of the most blatant and frightening statements made on privacy, the Associated Press reports that Houston’s police chief wants surveillance cameras in apartment buildings and even private homes. Chief Harold Hurtt wants building permits to require cameras in shopping malls and large apartment complexes. He also wants them in private homes if the homeowner has called the police repeatedly. So, if you’re in Houston, don’t call the cops too much, or they might install a camera the next time they show up. And what does Hurtt have to say about privacy concerns? ‘I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?'”
From the welcome-to-the-brave-new-world dept: Policing Porn Isn’t Part of The Job
Rick Zeman wrote to mention a Washington Post article about an incident at a Bethesda library. Two uniformed men from a Homeland Security detachment made an announcement stating that pornography was not acceptable viewing at the library. They then questioned a patron’s choice of reading material. From the article: “A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library’s work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men. They were officers of the security division of Montgomery County’s Homeland Security Department, an unarmed force that patrols about 300 county buildings — but is not responsible for enforcing obscenity laws.”
From the tricky-part-is-finding-the-right-medium dept: Creating a Backboneless Internet?
Peter Trepan asks: “The Internet is the best thing to happen to the free exchange of ideas since… well… maybe ever. But it can also be used as a tool for media control and universal surveillance, perhaps turning that benefit into a liability. Imagine, for instance, if Senator McCarthy had been able to steam open every letter in the United States. In the age of ubiquitous e-mail and filtering software, budding McCarthys are able and willing to do so. I Am Not A Network Professional, but it seems like all this potential for abuse depends upon bottlenecks at the level of ISPs and backbone providers. Is it possible to create an internet that relies instead on peer-to-peer connectivity? How would the hardware work? How would the information be passed? What would be the incentive for average people to buy into it if it meant they’d have to host someone else’s packets on their hard drive? In short, what would have to be done to ensure that at least one internet remains completely free, anonymous, and democratized?”