Randall Gerard writes back...

Location: Out West

An old-fashioned guy grappling with new-fangled ways.

Friday, October 06, 2006

REALLY Big Brother

"Privacy in America these days is an illusion. Unfortunately, there are only two options left for dealing with the invasive nature of public and private sector data collection in the good old USA: live with it or go off the grid.
By the latter, I mean enter the underground economy and deal only on a cash basis. That would mean cutting up your credit cards, canceling all of your bank accounts, not using a telephone or cell phone, nor the utilities to provide electricity, heat or running water in your house. It would mean tearing up your Social Security card, refusing to pay taxes, and forfeiting the right to vote and the ability to own property. And forget about the convenience of buying anything over the internet.
It would also mean throwing away your driver's license and car registration. That of course would make it almost impossible to earn a livable wage unless you reside in a major urban area and have access to public transportation or ride a bike. You don't need a license to ride one - yet. But regular employment would be out of the question anyway, since you would have to provide your Social Security number to your prospective employer to prove you are not an unregistered alien or part of a terrorist cell planning the next strike on the heartland. Or you could invest in a false set of identity papers. Then you would be breaking the law, but you are already a criminal by refusing to pay your taxes.
You get the idea. There is no Plan B."

The above is quoted from the book "Odyssey of an Eavesdropper: My life in electronic countermeasures and my battle against the FBI," by Martin L. Kaiser III. Anyone who still thinks the Amish are all wet needs to read the book. But for the rest of us, this is still America, and we still have choices. We can choose between Orwell's '1984', and Huxley's 'Brave New World'.