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Location: Vernon Hills, Illinois, United States

Old enough to know better, and still young enough to learn a lot more.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Keeping Your Private Information Private

Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve never been a big fan of the ACLU; however, something has come to my attention recently which needs attention. And I believe it needs the attention of all of us.

According to a posting by the ACLU, there is a multi-state program being developed (ACLU does not reveal the states involved) in conjunction with ACLU’s all-time adversary, the Federal government. Code Name: Matrix.

“A dangerous program,” the web site describes, “ominously called the Matrix, being proposed (which) would compile your personal information into a giant database that law enforcement agents and government contractors can use to search through information about your private life and investigate your activities.”

It goes on to say that, “According to news reports and internal government documents (which again the web site does not identify), the Matrix, which stands for 'Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange', is an effort to combine state government records, such as driver’s license information, with commercially available data to create a vast database capable of compiling and analyzing a profile of every American.”

Without identifying the company or government sources by name, the ACLU goes on to say that, “While the private company that runs the program has been very secretive about what data Matrix contains, government sources report that it includes names and address of family members, property ownership, marine vessels, bankruptcies, liens and judgments, voter registrations, and criminal offender information.

“However, given the amount of information that is available in today’s commercial databases, even more details of our private lives might be captured and catalogued. Indeed, the Matrix materials boast of having access to 20 billion records.”

Here we have what could be an ACLU scare tactic using unnamed companies, unidentified government sources, unnamed states involved…all the things I love to see.

However, keeping this information in mind, click on this link, then ask if a situation like this could possibly be on the horizon (that is, when you stop laughing): http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

1 Comments:

Blogger The Gentle Cricket said...

I agree that this has the potential to be an invasion of privacy. However, the ACLU article states "government sources report that it includes names and address of family members, property ownership, marine vessels, bankrupcies, liens and judgments, voter registrations, and criminal offender information". This is all public information, anyway, so this does not, in my opninion, show any signs of "illegal search and seizure". It's something we need to keep an eye on, but I don't think this program (yet) shows any sign of illegality.

5:47 PM CST  

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