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Discussion in 'General' started by Mayor_LaLa, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. July 17, 2002

    Cable guy, or government spy? Now Americans will have to wonder

    WASHINGTON, DC -- A new government program that seeks to recruit millions of mail carriers, utility workers and others with access to private homes as citizen-informants should be terminated immediately, Libertarians say.

    “Big Brother is watching you -- and he just might be your cable guy,” said Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party executive director. “This program will undermine the American traditions of freedom and privacy, and make us more like the nations that we abhor.”

    A pilot program for TIPS -- the Terrorism Information and Prevention System -- is scheduled to start next month in 10 cities. Its goal: Recruiting 1 million people with access to Americans' homes, such as letter carriers and utility workers, to report “suspicious, and potentially terrorist-related activity.”

    The network of citizen-informers is a component of President Bush's volunteer Citizens Corps program, which advises Americans on how to “keep their neighborhoods safe.”

    But the problem with TIPS is that it goes far beyond any reasonable steps to prevent terrorism and smacks of a police state, said Dasbach.

    ”By deputizing utility workers, delivery drivers and other private employees as de facto government agents, the government has created a way to search your home without a warrant,” Dasbach said. “The only reason the government wants to recruit private citizen-spies is that they can do things the government can't do legally, such as monitor your private behavior with absolutely no suspicion that you've done anything wrong.

    ”These were standard tactics for the Stasi -- the East German secret police -- but they should be repugnant to every American.”

    When TIPS is fully operational, the United States would have a higher percentage of government informers than the former communist East Germany, according to an analysis by investigative journalist Ritt Goldstein.

    “Assuming the pilot program is initiated in the 10 largest cities, about one out of 24 Americans -- or 4 percent of the population -- would become citizen-spies,” Dasbach noted. “It's time to ask all Americans: Should you trust a government that doesn't trust you?”

    Equally disturbing, Dasbach noted, is that the TIPS program mandates that all data collected by the citizen-informants be entered into a Justice Department database and made available to state and local law enforcement agencies.

    “It's frightening to think that your plumber, UPS driver or handyman might have the power to label you “suspicious” and insert your name into a government database without your knowledge,” Dasbach said.

    “Informant reports are also notoriously inaccurate. A 1992 report by Harvard University's Project on Justice found that many informants routinely embellish the truth or even fabricate reports.

    “Thanks to the TIPS program, you could wind up having to explain your private behavior to an FBI agent simply because the cable guy noticed something “suspicious” or a neighbor doesn't like you. Aren't those the kinds of tactics employed by the nations that we're fighting in the War on Terrorism?

    “Here's a TIP for Mr. Bush: Abolish this program immediately. The U.S. government has no business spying on its own citizens.”
     
  2. It seems like a dangerous situation, you could create a mass paranoia. I have friends from the former east germany. The STASI (german secret police) had informants everywhere, but I heared of stories of 8 year old children who snoop on their neigbours and giving information about so called "illegal" actvity. 50 % of the east german population seemed to work for the secret service even without knowing it, betraying their own friends, family and loved ones. Today these people are totaly fucked up, paranioa to the max, it will takes generations for these people to trust each other again.

    I don't know, I always hear so many smart people here on the forums fighting for there freedom to toke (and live), but the US goverments seems sometimes almost fascist, with all these controle tools they want to put on people. I think the US is realy turning into a big brother state that way (maybe it is already?). I hope I'm not offending anyone here with this, I know you must protect your country but the price seems to high.


    Peace

    SJ
     
  3. For those of us that reside inside the USA the situation that seems to be brewing in regard to the posted article is scarey. The idea of using citizens to spy on other citizens smacks of the SS Army's use of citizens in WWII to hunt down Jews!

    If you are not willing to stand up against this intrusion and blaitant misuse of political power to control the citizens of this country, then you deserve whatever THEY decide to do to this country.....

    As an American, it is time to stand up and SPEAK out about your rights that are being trampled on!!!!


    IF THIS goes into action, I will be leaving this country..... I will not live in a country that distrusts me so much that they have to use the cable guy and my neighbor to spy on me!!!!
     

  4. SJ... you are always a voice of reason on the boards, and very level headed..... and you are right, the cost of "protecting" this country is getting to be too great!

    LOL... can I come live with you????


    LaLa
     
  5. I find NO mention of this on any of the MAJOR news companies websites..... Fox, NOTHING..... CBS, NOTHING, MSNBC, http://www.msnbc.com/news/781714.asp


    Do not let anyone tell you that this is not a crediable threat to the freedom that you now enjoy. Do not let anyone convince you that this would help in the "War on Terrorism".


    The question that begs to be answered is why are Americans willing to lay down to the rapist of the Government, and sacrafice their FREEDOMS to be SAFE????
     

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