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Home Main Forums General Discussion "The End of Privacy Began in the 60's"

  • Smarmie Doofus (850 posts)

    "The End of Privacy Began in the 60's"

    Op-Ed from today’s NYT.

    Worth reading, contemplating and re-reading.

    Puts today’s totalitarian Surveilance State in historical context. Alas, but what do we DO about it?

    “Worries about data privacy erupted in the spring of 1964 with the publication of “The Naked Society,” by Vance Packard, a journalist best known for his unsparing critique of modern advertising. “The Naked Society” made a comparable assessment of the marketing schemes of big corporations, noting their immense and profitable traffic in personal data about American consumers. But he trained most of his attention on the entity that was then the largest user of mainframe computing power: the United States government.

    Unnerving amounts of personal information now could be sucked into bureaucratic databases, Packard observed. “There are banks of giant memory machines that conceivably could recall in a few seconds every pertinent action — including failures, embarrassments or possibly incriminating acts — from the lifetime of each citizen,” he wrote.

    Packard hit a nerve. Congress convened a Special Subcommittee on the Invasion of Privacy and started hearings into the government’s databank proposal in July 1966. The leading privacy crusader in the House, New Jersey’s Neil Gallagher, was a Johnson ally who believed that the databank had some merit but that the plan didn’t do enough to protect personal information. On the Senate side, North Carolina’s Sam Ervin was a critic of the president’s expansive domestic agenda and saw the databank as yet another sign of executive overreach. “The computer never forgets,” Ervin warned.”

    The rest at:


    bemildred, jwirr, tk2kewl like this

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