TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Another Year, Another Volume of the Digest

Re: Another Year, Another Volume of the Digest
3 Jan 2006 07:03:29 -0800

TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:

> but I do hope there will be another 25 years of this
> publication, whoever is maintaining it at that point in time.

Congratulations and thanks to Pat for maintaining the Digest for so
many years. It's a lot more work than it appears.

Probably not, as we will all have implanted chips in our brains by
that time making telephones obsolete.

Sorry to be such a downer on New Year's eve. Ok, maybe I'm being too
paranoid, but the continuing loss of personal privacy in order to
"protect us" has me worried. It doesn't seem to concern anyone else.
Indeed, the technies of the world appear to love it because it means
lucrative employment opportunities. Lockheed Martin, a major defense
contractor, has a big contract for "security" devices for the NYC
transit system.

In the name of "security", we allow BOTH the government and private
sector (our employers, our mortgager and landlords, our credit cards
and banks) to collect all sorts of personal information. It wasn't
bad when this stuff was stuffed away in a filing cabinet on paper or
even on an old clunky mainframe. But now the stuff is always
available on-line in compatible formats, easily shared.

Supposedly this information is for business use only. But sooner or
later someone or some other company or govt agency looks eagerly at
the mass of data. We don't want terrorists running around, do we? We
don't want perverts running around, do we? We don't want drug
dealers. We don't want drug users. We don't want deadbeats. We
don't want troublemakers. And so on.

Verizon (nee Bell Telephone) announced it is reporting payment
promptness to credit bureaus. They used to keep that strictly

Each and every one of us at one point or another made a mistake in our
lives. Often we got drunk and did something stupid. Maybe we took
the weed or sold it. Or, we lost our temper and got into a fist fight
at work. Perhaps we stole something. Somewhere that offense is
recorded. Maybe it's still only on paper. But if they can convert
the entire New York Times to machine readable form, they can convert
anything quickly and easily. That little mishap way back in college
or high school really is part of your "permanent record".

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