unSecure in Papers and Possessions

All the talk is about information collection, sharing, government spying, and storage of that personal information — privacy be damned. Okay, the NSA and government apologists parse that down to identifiable information.

They claim that the collection of everyone’s’ phone records is generic unidentifiable information so it can safely be used, abused, extorted and pilfered for content, to their hearts’ content. I have a little bit of a problem with that.

See, in the fourth amendment it does not guarantee you the right to be secure in only your “identifiable” information. So now you can reasonably expect to be secure in your person and possessions, but only if they are identifiable to you. That’s the message.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

They will admit that if one looks hard enough at this information it leads to the identity of a person. But they assure us that our identity is protected. My identity is not ALL I’m concerned about. So it’s as if when your name is removed, that information is no longer yours — then it can belong to anyone.(just because it cannot be traceable to you) But it doesn’t, it still belongs to me. Someone generated or created it, and that someone is me.

Now tell me I’m supposed to be comforted by their using and pilfering my information. That starts to not make sense to me.

They do similar things to medical records and call them non-identifiable medical information. This is like claiming if they remove your name from the DNA then it is not your DNA anymore. Get it? I don’t think this game of hoodwink is what the authors of the DOI and the Constitution’s Bill of Right’s had in mind.

My right to be secure in my papers and possessions is not limited to those with my name or identifiable information on them. It’s nice you say you are going to lengths to spare my identity from being extorted for some purpose, but just because you make it unidentifiable does not mean it’s not mine.

There is a word for that in other areas of law, like fraud and theft. People scratch names and serial numbers off things to hide the real owners’ identity and extort the property for what they can. That would be fraud and theft, by deception. But when our government does it, we are supposed to appreciate it because they are protecting our identity.

They’ve made it about identity. They have us believe that identity is key to my right to be secure in my papers and property. Someone actually made and placed that call from the corner of Broad and Jefferson. But if we pretend we don’t know who made it then it is fair game for the government and for any purposes anyone wants to use it. Or any purposes government allows it to be used, which is more the point.

They reinterpret a few words in the Constitution(Kelo) and voila, your property is up for grabs to the highest bidder or crony to those in political power. But your property is what they have their designs on. You may own it, at the discretion and will of powers that be.

So those papers that do not have my name on them are, well, not really mine anymore. A few key strokes can make my information a public commodity or useful tool. In that case, I am tasked with the burden to prove they are mine, something like proving your innocence. If someone removed my name and account number from a bank, that money belongs to me. Except now I just have the burden to prove its mine. And if they are that good creative at this shell game, then what could they do with finance?

All this while they can’t protect the records or identities of military putting their lives on the line for our rights.