Friday, January 2, 2009

Watching the watchers

“And can I get your Social Security number?”

How many times each year are we asked to hand out personal information? Whether it’s applying for a TWIC card, talking to our wireless provider or even giving our phone number at retail stores, we’re asked to hand over bits and pieces of our identity to be catalogued, stored and often later marketed for a variety of purposes.

In the latest example, a former intelligence analyst with the U.S. State Department was sentenced to probation after he pleaded guilty to perusing hundreds of passport records for information from celebrities, purely for his own entertainment.

Lawrence Yontz, 48, of Arlington, VA., was sentenced in mid-December to 12 months of probation and 50 hours community service.

The news release can be found here http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/December/08-crm-1131.html.

“In pleading guilty, Yontz admitted that between February 2005 and March 2008, he logged onto the PIERS database and viewed the passport applications of nearly 200 celebrities, athletes, actors, politicians and their immediate families, musicians, game show contestants, members of the media, prominent business professionals, colleagues, associates neighbors and individuals identified in the press. Yontz admitted that he had no official government reason to access and view these passport applications. Rather, he admitted his sole purpose in accessing and viewing these passport applications was idle curiosity.”

Of course, Yontz could have done much more with the amount of information tied to passports.

Every time a government worker handles laptops or cds with tens of thousands of individuals’ personal information, we’re all put at risk. Heck, the Washington Post said http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/01/AR2008010102334_pf.html a year ago that many government Web sites have published Social Security numbers.

It’s no wonder we cringe when handing over more information about ourselves, no matter how innocuous we’re made to believe it is.

4 comments:

  1. I my opinion my personal information is just that, it's mine!!! And no one, not even the Feds or any company or agency have any right, thorough they would like you to believe that they have every reason and legal right to collect and monitor every single aspect about when, were, what you and I do on any given hour of the day. "BULL..." I for one am tired of my rights being slowly and covertly taken away day after day. All you people that voted that "STUPID" SOB of a president into office 8 years ago, and we don't have to mention any names, can thank him and his storm trooper like, jackboot wearing, greed driven, "ASS....." for the current mess were in now. What WMD's, OH, It's the oil we need to protect! And profit from! And by the way, let's just start a littel old war so my good old buddies can line there pockets with our hard earned tax dollars, which they still think its ok to steal from the American people. Did I fail to mention, that its ok to send off our boys to be murdered for their personal gain? Also, lets send out billions of dollars, and reward all those good old boy's that have mismanaged all of are 401's and retirement plans away. We can't have them not get there severance and bonus packages before my family "STARVES", and faces forclosure on our home of 15 years. Sorry if I sound a bit hostle. Granted, its not just the upper management of government that's at the center of this sham. It's the "Big Corperations", people!!! They "Control" and "Dictate" to our elected governments officals what is, and what isn't going to be made policies that governs the way information is collected and used against us. As for me, I stay as far under the wire as I can. Even risking a comment of this nature could be hazardous to ones health. Do you know what I mean? History does repeat it's self. People, wake up!!! Its only a manner of time before we have "ZERO" individual rights or freedoms left. These are only my opinions, and frankly, I don't care if some of you find my characterizations of events and facts hard to understand or believe. Only you can decide for yourself what is or what isn't the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My fingerprints are checked
    if I need to cash a check at
    the grocery store. The soft-
    ware costs $65, but the daily
    fees from the people are $4 a
    check. Say, $108 of American's
    dollars daily. Hey, you are only allowed 10 duplicate S S cards in your whole lifetime. Secondary
    documents for MVR license renewal/duplication include notarized transcripts, HAZMAT confirmation, your DOT number or the TIN/EIN number if the
    "script" has your S S number printed on it. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I have been asked for my SS
    number and ask why do you need it, I have been told that is used as an Id number. I wasn't around, but older people told me that President Roosevelt "promised" the nation that SS numbers would only be used for Social Security,

    tnflatiron

    ReplyDelete
  4. The next time Barney Fife wants your SS# give him your Federal Employee Identification number, if you have one. If not, I've used 987-65-4321 for years and only had one rocket scientist figure out what I was doing. I convinced her that "someone had to get it" and was admitted. Truck safe.

    SC Roadstar

    ReplyDelete

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