The Library Bill of Rights affirms the “ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry. When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists.”

In a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others.  Confidentiality extends to “information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted” (American Library Association Code of Ethics), including, but not limited to: “database search records, reference questions and interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, information about materials downloaded or placed on “hold” or “reserve,” and other personally identifiable information about uses of library materials, programs, facilities, or services.”

Today online “libraries” exist — search engines, browsers, websites, email servers and etc — that store and categorize your Internet activity and searches. That information is collected often without your knowledge or permission and is routinely sold or surrendered without your knowledge or permission.

Your activity on Direct Democracy US may be recorded and scrutinized by the National Security Administration.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Peter Dent says:

    Without data mining, cyber crime is almost entirely untraceable, and unpunishable. In the real world, a balance might be found between privacy and safety where you only begin tracking a person when it is proved in a court of law that the committed a crime of heinous enough to warrant it. But with cyber crime, the only medium they are connected to is the same one that you would use to monitor their activities, and so a repeat crime is likely.

    But how much of a threat to the people do cyber criminals pose? Typical cyber crimes include fraud, theft, Ddos’sing, information warfare, phishing scams. Only some of these pose a threat to the everyday person: theft and phishing scams, which are also the easiest to track. Say your credit card information is stolen, it’s a simple matter to see where money is being transfered or from where things are being purchased. Other attacks, like Ddos’sing and information warfare are more likely to be targeted at larger corporation. But we all know that corporations are people too, right?

    So in conclusion, although cyber crimes against large companies aren’t very traceable, the typical threats that exist against the people are easily resolved without a constant eye watching over everyone’s shoulder. Therefore, data mining is not neccesary.


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