A lot of people think many libertarians are kooks because of their belief in, well liberty; and their warnings that here in a country founded on that word, and what it means, it (liberty) is being diminished to the point of where what we have is bordering on the opposite of liberty – which is oppression or tyranny.
It isn’t too hard to see why many people would think that libertarians are kooky for their warnings, because most people feel that they aren’t being oppressed under tyrannical rule. We can still go to the mall and buy whatever we want. We can still turn on the television and watch anything we want. We can still jump in our cars and drive wherever we want. We can go online without the government blocking access to Twitter, or censoring our Google searches, as they do in China. In short, we feel free; so what is all the fuss about by these libertarians?
Well, yes you can do many of those things, without overt government controls. The thing is though about all of those kooky libertarians is that with the passage of laws like the Patriot Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act, the government can now covertly monitor pretty much all of the things we do, without a warrant. Many people out there will say something about how this is okay, because they have nothing to hide, or that they aren’t doing anything wrong. All of those kooky libertarians will answer that is beside the point, and that government shouldn’t spy on their citizens, because it is an invasion of privacy. Who is right? Well I guess that depends on you and your beliefs.
Well, the FBI has it’s thoughts on this matter too, and they are showing where they stand with the one billion dollar investment into the “Next Generation Identification” system (NGI), which will be able to scan through a nationwide database of mug shots, drivers licenses iris scans, DNA records, and voice samples of known criminals, to assist in the identification of those criminals. Okay, cool, I’m not a criminal, you’re not a criminal, we don’t have anything to worry about – but those criminals, they’re gonna be in trouble.
It is how the system gathers much of that data though that gets libertarians more than a little uneasy. The NGI scans through a network of cameras, and photo databases (Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. etc.?) looking for matches to the mug shot database. Okay, well I don’t associate with known criminals, you don’t associate with known criminals, no biggie – but those criminals are still gonna be in trouble.
The fear is that once this program is fully up and running then the photo database will begin to include every driver’s license photo, every passport photo, and DNA samples from all of us non-criminals too. The first response to that is that it will never happen. Well, those same people probably thought a law being passed that allows the indefinite detention of American citizens, by the American government, without charge or due process would never pass either – yet it did.
So, just know criminals, non-criminals, and would be criminals, that in not too short a period of time your face will be run through a database to see if it matches any photo in that database. All of the non-criminals don’t have anything to worry about though; unless your face happens to be in a photo of a known criminal, then you might have to answer some questions – hopefully not during American Idol though, because we don’t want to miss too much of those important things.
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property. (Thomas Jefferson)