Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The idea of a “Surveillance State,” where government watches and records our every move, is usually billed to us as a matter of protection.

That’s sure a good way to sell us tyranny.

True, we do sometimes receive protection from governments that keep tabs on us about what we do, where we go, who we see. But if this sort of thing doesn’t also give you the creeps, I am at a loss.

I hear from friends in the Libertarian Party of Virginia, where I live, that bills pending in the State House and Senate would limit the length of time state and local governments may keep data on citizens’ driving habits.

Right now, governments collect a lot of information via license-plate reading cameras, and there are no legal limits on how long the information can be kept; some jurisdictions do keep data indefinitely. AAA Mid-Atlantic, an automobile service organization, is backing the legislation, pushing for a legal limit. “AAA believes that the retention period should be limited to the time necessary to compare it with local and national crime data banks,” a press release states, adding that the limit should reflect the rather short amount of time required, which is “a matter of hours or days, not months or years.”

We don’t advocate limits on this kind of data to protect criminals, but to reduce temptation to those folks in government who might abuse their positions for personal gain or bureaucratic mission creep.

Governments tracking and recording our every move just isn’t safe — even if our safety is the professed goal.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. JFB says:

    Those who surrender liberty for security shall have neither.

  2. Drik says:

    The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now collects all the available information in the US on who charges anything on a credit card. What they bought and who from. Ostensibly to “prevent” predatory credit lenders. Even though we’ve been rocking along pretty well for years. And all of the information is collected without the permission of the taxpayer.
    Information collected without consent is information that can be shared without consent.
    So every federal agency now has access to every smidgen of credit card purchasing activity by any individual that occurs in the United States, without the permission of the citizens. There is no consent if there is no possibility of withholding consent.

    “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t need to worry.”

    If you’re not doing anything “wrong” you don’t need rights.

  3. …. a government’s tracking and recording our every move, just isn’t safe. Even if our safety is the professed goal ….

    Better yet: A government’s tracking and recording our every move is deadly dangerous. Especially if our safety is its stated goal.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but he who torments us for our own good will torment us without end, for he does do so with the approval of his own conscience.” — C S Lewis

  4. Tree Dee says:

    This week’s supply of good stuff is too great to make specific comments with the time I’m allotting myself for this.
    Amazing, and thank you for helping to arrange my thoughts in a cogent manner as my (remaining) brain cells “mature” even more.

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