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It's "1984" in Europe, What About Your Country?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the orwell-was-only-slightly-late dept.

Privacy 1208

An anonymous reader asks: "A few hours ago, the European parliament accepted a proposal '...on the retention of data processed in connection with the provision of public electronic communication services...'. Summarized: any data (internet connections, traffic, email, file sharing, SMS, phone calls) of 450 million people of Europe has to be collected by telcos, to be used by governments in their fight against 'crime and terrorism' ... oh, and child porn, of course. In Germany, over-the-sea reports are limited and usually do not include the latest developments in law and order, but since Slashdot has readers all over the world, I would like to ask: how is the status of YOUR country in terms of anti-terrorism-laws, observations and such? Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?"

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Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privacy (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 years ago | (#14261289)

It is a relatively modern Idea that Freedom is equal to Privacy. While the truth they are rather disjunct concepts. You still have the right of free speech you can still say whatever you want and just as long as it doesn't cause direct harm, (Like yelling Fire in a crowded room) you have the right to say it.
But just recently the right of privacy seems to be implicit to your freedom of speech. With freedom of speech (At least the American ideal) you should be able to state your views without getting arrested for it. But it doesn't state that you can say it without anyone knowing that you said it.
I am not saying you shouldn't fight to keep your privacy, but it is not taking away a right, it is taking away a luxury, that we enjoy. In many ways I want to keep privacy, because then we are able to say our views that can shake things up without breaking social norms of living in the real world. But on the down side as with any luxury, if we over use it we get comfortable and abuse it. Saying things that should not say and shake things up that if a person had a chance to think twice about it wouldn't shake up. Pushing society too fast is as dangerous as letting it become stagnate, and Luxuries like privacy should be treated well or could be forced to be removed.

there are relationships though (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 years ago | (#14261310)

I agree the concepts are distinct, but most people who value freedom are wary of "big brother" style governments that perform far too much surveillance on their own citizens, because that puts them in a dangerously powerful position to later use that information to restrict freedoms.

Re:there are relationships though (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 years ago | (#14261370)

Yes, but until people realize that they live in a democratic based nation, and should really vote for governmental officials who stand up for the values and luxuries they want to protect, even if they are not the top 2 front runners. We will live in a world where the longer government stands the more Luxuries we will loose, at a slightly slower rate that newer Luxuries are implemented.

That's not true (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261354)

The fathers of our nation enshrined in the constitution the right to pamphlet anonymously. You have the RIGHT to criticize the government without fear that they will track you down and punish you.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (4, Insightful)

sirket (60694) | about 9 years ago | (#14261355)

But just recently the right of privacy seems to be implicit to your freedom of speech. With freedom of speech (At least the American ideal) you should be able to state your views without getting arrested for it. But it doesn't state that you can say it without anyone knowing that you said it.

If I call my friend up to chat about the old college days I absolutely have a right to privacy. What I talk to an old friend is ABSOLUTELY none of the governments business.

I'm astonished at how some people in the United States act. NYC recently implemented random bag searches in the subway- only they can only search your bags and only before you get on the subway- if you don't want to be searched you can walk away (exactly what kind of terrorist this is supposed to catch is beyond me and a subject for another debate). What astounds me about this, however, is just how many people go out of their way to be searched. If the cops don't call you over to be searched you don't have to stop- I've walked past every time without being stopped. Some people, however, walk over to the cops, open their bags and show them the contents without being asked. I have no idea what society I am living in but I would love to find some place in this world where people actually have self respect and care about their rights.

-sirket

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (4, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | about 9 years ago | (#14261528)

What astounds me about this, however, is just how many people go out of their way to be searched. If the cops don't call you over to be searched you don't have to stop- I've walked past every time without being stopped. Some people, however, walk over to the cops, open their bags and show them the contents without being asked.

You know... if you were a terrorist, isn't that exactly what you'd do? Get your buddy to distract the cops by showing them his bag while you walk on to the subway with the bomb in your bag.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (4, Insightful)

paroneayea (642895) | about 9 years ago | (#14261391)

I'll just summarize my fears like this: If you lack privacy, tyrants can go unchecked in power.

And of course, without privacy, everything the citizen does is clear to the government, but the government can act without the same level of transparency.

The government stops working under the whims of the people, and the people start working under the control of the government.
We /need/ privacy in order to sustain a democracy.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261421)

While I agree with your point of not having to have anonomity in speech, I see that something like this would be used to monitor what people read as well. The problem with that is that without some level of privacy in regards to what we read and practice, we cannot be expected to act in a truely free manner. People don't want and shouldn't have to have someone standing over their backs watching what they read or what they believe. Also, this has a huge possibility for abuse. I can imagine some politician getting ahold of his or her competition's browsing habits from back in college and using it to their advantage.

PRIVACY == FREEDOM (5, Insightful)

love2hateMS (588764) | about 9 years ago | (#14261438)

You obviously never studied this issue seriously. The absence of privacy forces people to modify their behavior. The less privacy, the less freedom of behavior. It is not just illegal behavior that is suppressed, but any behavior that is outside the accepted norms.

Lack of privacy is the single greatest threat to freedom we now face.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261448)

It is a relatively modern Idea that Freedom is equal to Privacy.

And equally so is it that only in modern times has the capability to log every single activity and statement made by individuals become possible. The idea of privacy being synonymous with freedom has evolved directly in proportion to the capabilities of governments to compile dossiers on their citizens' movements and activities. The reason that there is no prohibition of this activity in the American Constitution is because it wasn't even imagined to be possible. We don't have any legal protections against cerebral implants that send what we see, think, and feel to a centralized server because such things do not exist, not because we believe such devices to be a reasonable exercise of state surveillance power.

People who support, or even fail to oppose such Orwellian surveillance are the larger threat to our freedom than the terrorists themselves in my opinion. As we inch towards the very type of state that would have Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin turning over in their graves, the terrorists are laughing all the way to the bank. Mission accomplished.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261459)

I'm not certain that the concern is necessarily with what you say, or the possible ramifications of what you say... So much as it is with things that other folks really have absolutely no need to know.

Yes, I have the right to say what I want. I can choose to say that I hate the President of the United States and I can't wait to get rid of him. And if my boss hears this and happens to like the President, I may have to deal with the consequences. That's ok. I can deal with that. It really doesn't bother me. Even if I start losing privacy and they wind up tracking this post to me and I have to deal with the consequences. Unlike a large number of US citizens, I do not believe that "freedom of speech" should mean "freedom from consequences".

What I'm personally somewhat concerned about is losing the simple privacy that we all enjoy at home - in the bathroom, in the bedroom, in the livingroom. I don't want to discover that my boss knows I watch Star Trek reruns every single time they're on, or that I sleep with a teddy bear, or that I use dial soap. I don't want to have to worry about keeping or losing my job because of my favorite sexual position, or how geeky my DVD collection is. These are things that really shouldn't matter to anyone else out there...but you KNOW that if it all winds up online and documented someone will go data mining and turn up all sorts of embaressing details.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm usually fairly aware of when I'm saying something controversial (ie: Dubya sucks!) and I can choose when/where/how I say that. I'm really not worried about my political/religious/whatever beliefs getting me in trouble. What I am concerned about is the gory, insignificant, private details of my life suddenly becoming public knowledge.

&Privacy = &Freedom (5, Insightful)

Bobzibub (20561) | about 9 years ago | (#14261475)

Utter tosh!

Privacy allows one the right to think what one wants without a coersive government locking one up.

When a government monitors emails, and builds networks of who knows whom, I find it extremely intrusive.

Europe has history. If any of the evil governments that existed in it's past existed today, they would need about fifteen minutes to get a long list of everyone they did not like, (and those that communicated with them) and lock them up or worse.

The "luxury" you speak of was in existance previous to the information age when governments could not track your thoughts, personal networks, banking information, health information and all the other info that they keep in large databases. Today, fridges and toasters are networked and will betray you, not simply a disgruntled family member or the neibour's kid. Did you know they keep track of what food you buy via your safeway card? That is "total information awareness" and it is not to protect you, but to protect your government from you. What did Echelon do to prevent Sept 11? Nothing. Terrorists used countermeasures and will continue to do so. They may be deranged fanatics but they're not stupid.

Look at Iraq. They have government goon squads that execute thousands a month. (Morgues are filled.) Thanks to the information age, not are actions considered treasonous but thoughts also. An email. A phone call. It's OK until it's your ass. (Or knee cap or skull.) Your slashdot posting of 2002 may seal your fate.

Don't be so foolish to assume that all future governments will be benign.

In the mean time it is our responsiblity to build networks resistant to these policies.

-b

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (5, Insightful)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | about 9 years ago | (#14261485)

You can say any right is a luxury. People define what are rights.

I suggest you read about Griswold v. Connecticut [wikipedia.org] for more information about the U.S. Supreme Court's take on the right to privacy.

Re:Privacy != Freedom && Freedom != Privac (4, Informative)

teromajusa (445906) | about 9 years ago | (#14261504)

True, they are not equivalent, but that does not mean privacy is not a right. In the US its considered covered under the 4th amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated More on this here [state.gov] .

The term "chilling effect" mean anything? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261519)

Obviously you do not understand the term "Chilling effect". Without some privacy you simply DO NOT have any freedom. Seriously. I can't beleive this was modded insightful.

Do editors even read this site? (2, Informative)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 9 years ago | (#14261291)

I have nothing more to say at this time.

Re:Do editors even read this site? (5, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | about 9 years ago | (#14261308)

I must ask the same question. I am a subscribed member, and have sent 2 emails about the huge typo. So, I must bring in the punishment of irony...

My, that's a big population you have there, Europe! How did you get so big?

Re:Do editors even read this site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261523)

Not to mention it's 2005!

Re:Do editors even read this site? (5, Funny)

toetagger1 (795806) | about 9 years ago | (#14261436)

"450 billion"
This may explain the odd wobble of the earth's magnetic poles....

Re:Do editors even read this site? (-1)

Jjeff1 (636051) | about 9 years ago | (#14261457)

In Europe, Billion [tiscali.co.uk] is typically used to mean the same number as Million in the US.

So to recap... Europe Billion = US Million = 1,000,000

now this isn't in the least bit inflamitory (0, Flamebait)

Zorgoth (68241) | about 9 years ago | (#14261292)

Let the flaming begin...

A British billion? (2, Funny)

Aelcyx (123258) | about 9 years ago | (#14261294)

I'm guessing that's a British billion (i.e., an American million)...

Re:A British billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261326)

A British billion is an American trillion - 1,000,000,000,000

Re:A British billion? (1)

scatters (864681) | about 9 years ago | (#14261334)

Dude, a British billion used to be one million million, as opposed to the American one thousand million. Common usage in the UK is now the American version.

Fate of the British billion (2, Informative)

alienmole (15522) | about 9 years ago | (#14261350)

It's the other way around - the British billion used to be a million million, i.e. 1000 American billions. They officially changed it, though - see here [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:A British billion? (1)

weierstrass (669421) | about 9 years ago | (#14261362)

a British billion is an American trillion.
they're kind of obsolete now though.

Billion? (1)

thoolie (442789) | about 9 years ago | (#14261296)

Why would you want billios of people in Europe when you could have MILLIONS!?!

Again, bravo to the editors :-)

Correction (1)

cloricus (691063) | about 9 years ago | (#14261297)

Million, not billion! ...Else that's a lot of people in the EU.

s/billion/million/ (4, Insightful)

ResQuad (243184) | about 9 years ago | (#14261298)

Last I checked there were only 6 billion people on earth - so 450 billion people in europe in the last month would be a intrest feat.

(On a related note - why do they have a "mail us if you see something wrong" when it doesnt do anything to email them)

Re:s/billion/million/ (1, Informative)

NtroP (649992) | about 9 years ago | (#14261377)

I thought I heard somewhere that the British (and maybe other parts of Europe) say billion for 1,000,000, where we say million...

Can't remember where, and I can't, for the life of me, think what they'd call 1,000,000,000.

Well, there you have it...

Re:s/billion/million/ (2, Informative)

NtroP (649992) | about 9 years ago | (#14261444)

Heh, replying to my self...

After a little research [mathforum.org] I realize I had it backwards:

The American system is:
10^06 = million
10^09 = billion
10^12 = trillion
...

The European system (formerly used in Britain, still used in Germany)
is:
10^06 = million
10^09 = thousand million
10^12 = billion
10^15 = thousand billion
10^18 = trillion
10^21 = thousand trillion
...
Huh, I learned something new today.

yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261299)

That's billion with a B folks

Our fault..... (2, Insightful)

offlerthecrocgod (563497) | about 9 years ago | (#14261303)

All goverments crave power, it's people not fighting them that lets them grab it.

Recommendations? (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#14261305)

Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?"

The answer is directly proportional to how much money you have and how willing you are to spread it around.

Funny? Yes. True? Sadly yes as well in most of the world.

Re:Recommendations? (2, Funny)

CPNABEND (742114) | about 9 years ago | (#14261503)

All you need to do is get one of those "Michael Jackson Bedroom Buttons!" (Patent pending) - He never got caught =)

How many people? (1, Redundant)

aktzin (882293) | about 9 years ago | (#14261307)

...450 billion people of Europe...

That's an impressive surge in population growth in Europe, since last I heard the entire planet only had 6 billion people. (guess that makes me a demographics / statistics / math nazi?)

I never know (0, Redundant)

shadowdata (804281) | about 9 years ago | (#14261311)

Europe has 450 billion people ... WTF ???

Its 1982 here (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261324)

We still think Member's Only jackets are cool.

Re:Its 1982 here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261344)

are you implying that they aern't?

who doesn't? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 9 years ago | (#14261359)

Mine doesn't look as good now that I weigh 50 pounds more than I did in highschool, I'll give you that, but it is still extremely cool.

Holly Cow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261331)

of 450 billion people of Europe


From those numbers you would never suspect the population was on the decline! http://www.overpopulation.org/older.html [overpopulation.org] !

Well... (4, Interesting)

linguae (763922) | about 9 years ago | (#14261341)

Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?

The moon, I guess (assuming that nobody else owns it). Let's face it, liberty is dying. Unless some libertarians, Goldwater conservatives, Ron Paul, socially liberal Democrats and Republicans (in the true sense of the word liberal; somebody who advocates freedom), and other liberty-minded people band together to take control from our power-hungry authoritarian leaders, the USA is going to turn into "1984" as well.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | about 9 years ago | (#14261512)

Considering the way people freak out unless you speak "politically correctly" about darn near everything, we hit that part of "1984" a long time ago. It's the "thought police" straight out of the book.

A great example of this are so-called "hate crimes". I mean, holy crap, crimes against anyone are "hate crimes". Are the "thought police" going to divine what's in someone's brain when they commit these crimes? It's that way today.

Having to "not offend" someone by not using the politically correct term for something they might say is another example of this. I'm not talking about using derogatory terms against someone...that IS offensive.

There are many more examples. "1984" didn't happen in 1984, but it happened shortly afterwards. It's a shame that more people haven't realized this already.

450 Billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261343)

It was once you should never get in to a land war with China... Forget that... Never get in to a land war with the EU...

Yeah (2, Insightful)

lgordon (103004) | about 9 years ago | (#14261347)

Being an illegal Mexican immigrant in the US appears to meet all of your criteria.

Good places to live (1)

Androk (873765) | about 9 years ago | (#14261348)

Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?"

Well, there's alway Luna. Set up a nice colony, far enough away and hard enough to get a lot of troops to that you could live in freedom.

Why wait for 1984? (1)

100MphBackslidingTur (937439) | about 9 years ago | (#14261349)

You can panick now, and avoid the rush!

Re:Why wait for 1984? (1)

agentofchange (640684) | about 9 years ago | (#14261408)

**** Automated announcement ****

This topic has been marked as subversive, based on the IP of the person submitting this story a squad has been dispatched to pick them up from their family home.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Why wait for 1984? (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | about 9 years ago | (#14261506)

This topic has been marked as subversive, based on the IP of the person submitting this story a squad has been dispatched to pick them up from their family home.

It's "Tuttle," not "Buttle"! Now, if you could just sign this 27B/6. Listen, this whole system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27B/6.

It's "1984" in Europe, What About Your Country? (1)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#14261351)

Aw shessh! It's bad enough trying to keep how many hours ahead/behind it is in Europe, now you're changing the year too?

Re: It's "1984" in Europe, What About Your Country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261521)

No problem for us down under it's 1984 here too. Except on weekends [wikipedia.org] when we like to revert to the 1880's [wikipedia.org]

Storage (4, Insightful)

Luigi30 (656867) | about 9 years ago | (#14261353)

So who has the storage space necessary to pull this off?

450 Billion ppl? (1)

rainhill (86347) | about 9 years ago | (#14261357)

450 Billion people? gee...

Want to live without a Nanny State? (2, Informative)

poofyhairguy82 (635386) | about 9 years ago | (#14261360)

Its easy to live without a Nanny state. Just move to a semi-populated rural area where there is a lower crime rate with less prying police. The long arm of the law mostly gets you with its fingers (the members of law enforcement lower on the totem pole) so if you move to a place where its too many people to casually look but enough people where there is not a high crime rate then you can live free. Thats why so many drug dealers and makers in the U.S. live in rural or suburban areas- they can get away with more there.

Obscurity is the only true path to privacy.

Re:Want to live without a Nanny State? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 years ago | (#14261419)

"Just move to a semi-populated rural area"

Except this covers all of Europe. Everybody has all their communications logged. Everyone.

"Thats why so many drug dealers and makers in the U.S. live in rural or suburban areas"

No, they do that because that's where their customers live. City folk get involved in selling drugs becuse they can't afford to buy the product themselves.

Re:Want to live without a Nanny State? (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 9 years ago | (#14261477)

Just move to a semi-populated rural area where there is a lower crime rate with less prying police.

I live in one of those places and in some ways it's worse than a data rich urban area. If I go to the store they know me and will mention that they saw my wife in there this am, she had the pot roast for lunch and said she was going to her hair appointment.

Sooner or later you have to go to the co-op for something. After that someone will know you. The mail carrier knows where you live and what magazines you subscribe to. The police don't need to pry into your business because everyone already knows.

It's really not any different, just lower tech.

Mr. Chinese Sheep says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261361)

Why, the internet is just fine here in China! Come in and experience the wonderful "protection" from the horrific democratic and gawd-awful Falun Gong sites! It is just peppy!

1984? (1)

Gadgycough (937773) | about 9 years ago | (#14261363)


1948, it will come to nothing...

What kinda hardware... (1)

graveyardduckx (735761) | about 9 years ago | (#14261371)

What kind of hardware would this require? There have to be billions of terabytes of data flowing back and forth across the internet. How would a group store all of this data? How long would it be held? Would tax money even remotely begin to cover all of this? Just my $0.02US... and for the super-paranoid: how says they aren't already doing this?

THIS POST IS RUINED (1)

Dragoonkain (704719) | about 9 years ago | (#14261373)

every comment for the last 30 has been about the billion fuckup. Lets just skip this story, say FUCK PRIVACY and move on with the next typo/dupe article. Thanks.

ROFL (-1, Flamebait)

dedazo (737510) | about 9 years ago | (#14261374)

Every time there's a "YRO" story about some privacy issue in the US the europops come out of the woodwork drinking gin and smoking small cigarrettes to point out how fucked up we Americans are.

Well here's a big fat FUCK YOU BACK, if nothing else to prove that things are fucked up everywhere and you can all stick your "oh but vee are so much bettar than you amerikans" mantra bullshit.

Mod me down, I just had to vent after seeing a few of those flamewars in previous articles about US laws.

Re:ROFL (2, Interesting)

intnsred (199771) | about 9 years ago | (#14261508)

Well here's a big fat FUCK YOU BACK

You feel good now that you've got that off your chest, don't you?! :-)

if nothing else to prove that things are fucked up everywhere

Considering that the US House of Representatives just passed the Patriot[sic] Act today, your timing is impeccable. :-(

"Fascism could better be called 'corporatism', for it is merely the merging of state power with corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who "invented" fascism

Speaking from Denmark (2, Interesting)

KingGuru (759739) | about 9 years ago | (#14261385)

Speaking from Denmark (part of the EU), I would say that 1984 is definitly moving closer. The techincal aspects that makes it, more or less, impossiple to record everything a person says and of course the loss of privace aside, I find it the most scary thing, that the general attitude seems to be: "If you don't have anything to hide, so it doesn't matter, does it?"

Waste of Resources (4, Insightful)

abfan1127 (784663) | about 9 years ago | (#14261386)

It has been shown that slick monitoring of information does not protect citizens from terrorism. Monitoring the general public is such a large undertaking that funds spent doing that have far better places to be spent. If given the chance, the general public would not elect to do such a wasteful activity. It is ineffective, just as the current rules regarding airline screenings do not work. Knives and "weapons" still make it on the airline, etc. By monitoring the general airwaves, terrorists will use encryption. What then? Force all communications over non encrypted channels? What about bank transactions, etc? You can not protect the public from its self. Safety is relative, and its been proven that consumers do not want that level of "safety" for that price.

It's all about the banks. (3, Interesting)

jimijon (608416) | about 9 years ago | (#14261395)

Until countries decide that the central banks are evil nothing will change. This is something that has been a very big issue historically. Most great leaders were killed going against the Central Privately Held Banks. They have complete power and now want complete global control. Only a very, very, brave leader will fight the Central Bank. Here in the US, our late President Kennedy issues US Bank Notes in direct competition with the Federal Reserve. They day he was assasinated they revoked them. This is by far the one issue that completely trumps all others. The central banks are responsible for wars, depressions, murders, and complete financial enslavement. Money may be the root of all evil, but the privately held central banks are pure evil.

Even by "1984" standards... (1)

general_re (8883) | about 9 years ago | (#14261496)

...you're still a wingnut.

OT: You say "nanny state", I say "bah" (1)

DoubleWhopper (871075) | about 9 years ago | (#14261406)

What's this sudden rash of the "nanny state" term? Seems like it's popped up whenever there's a "threat" to your right *cough* to view porn, download illegally, etc. This only amounts to some sort of nanny control if you're underage. What's wrong with making it difficult for kids to access such material? I say bah to such cries of control as they likely come from a 15-year-old who's PO'ed that his parents have installed CyberSitter.

Yes, I recognize this is off-topic. To bring it somewhat back to topic, what's this data collection have to do with the so-called nanny state, anyway?

Re:OT: You say "nanny state", I say "bah" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261484)

What's wrong with making it difficult for kids to access such material?

Because the people who want to do so invariably wish to remake the entire world into a place fit only for children.

Hence the term, "nanny state."

Re:OT: You say "nanny state", I say "bah" (1)

kadathseeker (937789) | about 9 years ago | (#14261522)

Not just that. A nanny state doesn't believe that you can think and reason well enough to live on your own, and that the government must care for you with welfare, forced minimum payments on debt, state healthcare, education, parenting your children, filtered information, limited commercial choices and the like because YOU ARE TOO STUPID TO LIVE WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT. The kicker is that this theory destroys the foundation of democracy. Maybe they should vote for you too? I CAN manage my credit cards without you, CAN decide what food is safe without you, CAN dedcide what my kids should not watch without your help and CAN run my life without your help. Thank you anyway.

USA? (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | about 9 years ago | (#14261410)

The United States is currently ...okayish on privacy, in my opinion. We had a law passed called the Patriot Act soon after 9/11 that raised severe privacy concerns, arguably the greatest in quite a long time. In essence, it did less than the new EU law you cite, so for that reason I say that my country is still the land of the free. (Its major provisions allowed the government access to personal information and library records when terrorism is suspected.)
Really, many countries these days are cracking down, but I still like what I see.

Patriot Act is up for renewal in the US (1)

PAPPP (546666) | about 9 years ago | (#14261412)

Here in the US we have the "Patriot Act" from 2001, which grants the government a rather extrordinary collection of survalence powers. 16 sections of the bill expire on Dec. 31 of this year, including many of the electronic survalence portions that would be of interest to the /. crowd. The Republican party is trying to push a 4-year renewal through congress by the end of the year, but the 9/11 carte blanche that got it passed initally has run out and there is serious resistance this time around, including threats of a filibuster. Its worth noting that there are some minor improvements in the 4 year extension, and a more substantal overhaul, called the safe act, currently stalled in comitte. For those interested, some stories on cnet [com.com] and msnbc [msn.com] (look, balance for the news bias whiners!)

Its 1984 here too... (1)

post_toastie (649723) | about 9 years ago | (#14261415)

CNN reports: By a 251-174 vote Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to renew 16 of the act's provisions that were set to expire at year's end.

not quite yet (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | about 9 years ago | (#14261515)

It's gotta get through the Senate, and it looks as if it will be filibustered. By Republicans AND Democrats.

metadata (1)

42Penguins (861511) | about 9 years ago | (#14261422)

From TFPDF:
"Member States shall ensure that the following categories of data are retained under this
Directive:
(a) data necessary to trace and identify the source of a communication;
(b) data necessary to trace and identify the destination of a communication;
(c) data necessary to identify the date, time and duration of a communication;
(d) data necessary to identify the type of communication;
(e) data necessary to identify the communication device or what purports to be the
communication device;
(f) data necessary to identify the location of mobile communication equipment."

Aside from the repeat story and population inflation in Europe, look at the data being collected.
There's quite a difference between the government seeing WHAT you talked about and the government seeing WHO and WHEN and HOW LONG you talked.

If they're going to make a power grab, I'd rather they see who and when, rather than what, I'm saying.
But as it is, I'm in the USA, Land of the Free(TM). My government probably has these powers...they just don't outline them so neatly.

So Long Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261424)

I give up on Slashdot. Digg.com: I'm finally ready to commit.

Neat math (2, Funny)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about 9 years ago | (#14261429)

Wow! I had no idea that 9000% of the world's population (give or take) lived in Europe!

There's no problem (1)

nincehelser (935936) | about 9 years ago | (#14261430)

Those 450 Billion Europeans obviously already understand the utility of multiple screen names.

Canada is safe (1)

L3sT4T (856344) | about 9 years ago | (#14261431)

Welcome to Canada the Land of the free !!! Seriously we do have a bit of big brother in here but with our evident lack of budget ... what else can i say ! We cant even keep our damn borders safe , i would never want to be a border patrol officer.

Move to... (1)

psycln (937854) | about 9 years ago | (#14261432)

Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?

Tatooine. Nice place, a bit too sunny though

There's too many zeroes (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | about 9 years ago | (#14261437)

... and I'm not talking about the average attractiveness quotient of your typical /. readership.

Summarized: any data (internet connections, traffic, email, file sharing, SMS, phone calls) of 450 billion people of Europe

You didn't work on the Mars Polar lander by chance?

Trolling or ignorance? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261441)

The big thing about 1984 was that the telescreens were in everybody's house, making private conversations impossible. Anybody remotely in touch with reality can see that 1984 is a long way off. So is the submitter trolling, or are they genuinely that out of touch?

Also, Europe is a continent. The EU is a group of countries. It is not a country itself. So well done for getting under the skin of a whole continent full of people by implying that the EU is just another country. Again, trolling or ignorance?

Cayman Islands (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 years ago | (#14261442)

With all the businesses incorporating there, they must have some attractive privacy laws.

soyawannawinna (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261443)

Any recommendations where one can still live free and unobserved in a non-nanny state?
Uhhh, yeah - like the Congo, the plains of Afghanistan, or any other third world cesspool that you would find intolerable because it doesn't have a starbucks every .25 klicks. Please depart civilization now and leave us in peace.

orwell-was-only-slightly-late dept? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261455)

If anything, wasn't Orwell early?

New Zealand =) (4, Interesting)

tmasky (862064) | about 9 years ago | (#14261456)

New Zealand is relatively good. I'm biased, I live here.

One of the last attempts at privacy invasion that hit the media was a case of the postal service (which is an SOE) was gathering data on house conditions. This information was deemed to assist with targeted advertising, for a price. There was a large public backlash.

On TV news, there were some quick queries put forward to members of the public. I'll never forget the American dude was simply said, "I moved to here from America to get away from this kind of stuff."

The one thing worrying me is possibility of NZ signing a Free Trade agreement with the US. You get dicked when you do that. But we're quite anti-American here due to the Iraq war, so we may be safe for now =)

United States (1)

Council (514577) | about 9 years ago | (#14261462)

I live in the United States, but I haven't really kept up with news or politics in the last five years or so (I've been pretty busy). I assume everything's roughly as it was last time I checked. So, situation's not bad! We killed the Clipper Chip and stopped Big Brother.

I should check and see what this new president has been up to.

Clearly not the US (2, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 9 years ago | (#14261470)

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to renew 16 parts of the "USA Patriot Act" that were set to expire at year's end. These include National Security Letters (basically search warrants the FBI issues itself without judicial review) and the ability of the FBI to obtain your medical records and records of library activity. Hopefully, the Senate will remember why the Constitution was written in the first place. Heck, some of this probably contravenes the Magna Carta.

EU=3mil sq km / 450 billion pipples (2, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 9 years ago | (#14261471)

means each person gets 6 square millimeters of room, if I divided correctly. About a 1/4 inch square for the metrically disinclined.

I've heard that Europeans are skinnier than Americans, but I think that's a bit extreme, don't you?

RS

Re:EU=3mil sq km / 450 billion pipples (1)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#14261530)

Sounds about right for the Metro in Paris at rush hour.

Funny (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | about 9 years ago | (#14261474)

I thought the enlightened europeans were a model we should all follow.

Now we find it racist, full of riots (France) and keeping records of your every communication. London is loaded with thousands upon thousands of cameras to make sure they can see you at all times.

When you hear EU, just say no thanks.

My understanding... (1)

sheldon (2322) | about 9 years ago | (#14261478)

I heard a report on this, and they aren't storing the content... just the fact that a connection was made.

So you send an SMS to me... it get's logged. So later when they want to look at the phone records and see who yo umade calls to, they can also see who you sent email to, SMS too, and used your VOIP too.

The thing is, with the internet it's nearly impossible. They would have to log every single connection your computer ever makes. Now imagine you've got some virus... it'd be terrabytes of data per day.

Does retention mean big brother? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about 9 years ago | (#14261482)

As far as I can see government isn't monitoring everything as in 1984. Rather the data is held by the respective service providers so the government can get specific information if it has specific reason to.

densityy (1)

maverick529 (893327) | about 9 years ago | (#14261486)

Total population of Europe =450Billion (Ref:slashdot.org) Total area of Europe =4,170,000 sq.mile so density/sqmile=450000000000/4170000=107913.669 so..107913 people are living per sq.mile.. what do I achive by proving this NOTHING.. Just wanna say I am good in Maths.. plz outsource ur job to me

450 Billion People? (1)

limptrizkit (648664) | about 9 years ago | (#14261491)

Wow... Europe has gotten pretty big.

Last I read, the world population was a little less than that.... http://esa.un.org/unup/p2k0data.asp [un.org]

Re:450 Billion People? (1)

limptrizkit (648664) | about 9 years ago | (#14261532)

Woops... not thinking in .asp today... try this link and make your selections....

http://esa.un.org/unpp/ [un.org]

exposure (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | about 9 years ago | (#14261493)

Though I'm hardly old enough to remember this but only thru my parents and some very early memories, the propoganda during world war II about how evil to population of hitlers rule was.

Today, thanks to the internet, we all know it was bull shit... that people of one country are just like the people of another... all having their daily living concerns.

This whole terrorism blow up was not without a cause. You screw someone enough and they will retaliate or someone else will use it as an excuse to.

So it is with the WTC..... and the trillion dollar bet... a stock market gamble that drain south east asia of their economy. and then the totally disconnected but some how magically connected via bush adminastration and threated media helping to bang war drums.....

The point is simple... of the over 6 billion people on this planet, it is a small fraction of a percent that is totally responsible for the excuse of terrorism.

Search the web for trillion dollar bet and "what the world wants"....

And see what the few are doing to keep a much better world from us all.

They are the real terrorist and as the deceptive do, they clain its someone else.

Ministry of Love (5, Funny)

nephridium (928664) | about 9 years ago | (#14261499)

I consider this legislation doubleplusungood as well and I surely hope parent hasn't posted this from Oceania, because even posting anonymously won't prevent BB from persecuting him for thoughtcrime.

This whole thing reminds me of ACDC's song "We're on a highway to hell", because... - oh hello there uniformed men - I was just posting on Slashdot, nothing to worry.. - aah let me go - neeed to keeep posting...

--- Connection terminated by Miniluv ---

I live in Canada. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14261505)

Same here. Leftist political correct suburbian feminist bitches (and of course ethnics) rule everything. White males must pay up and feel bad for everything. What a bummer.

Mexico... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#14261533)

is a privacy paradise :) But an insecurity hell :( We wish we had 1/10th of the security the US enjoys.

Well, at least i can D/L anime (without needing a tinfoil hat) to forget about everyday problems :)
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