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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:02 PM

Wow... the government keeps records of all doctors' visits for 130 million Americans

Every single visit, every single treatment. Sure, there's a "law" that keeps them from misusing that, but who trusts the Government, for God's sake?

(That's 50 million on Medicare, 72 million on Medicaid, and 8 million in the VA.)

They also keep track of over 3 million American's weekly job searches. And the academic progress of 50 million American students -- children! Will somebody please think of the children?

I'm reading stuff here about never trusting the Government that, frankly, belongs on a different site. If you don't trust the government to monitor patterns in communications, why do you trust them to handle your retirement? Or your health insurance? Or your kids' education? If you think the laws don't apply to the NSA, why do you think they apply to the Department of Education or HHS?

Has this revelation made anybody rethink support for single payer healthcare? Gun registration? Product safety regulation?

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Reply Wow... the government keeps records of all doctors' visits for 130 million Americans (Original post)
Recursion Jun 2013 OP
alfie Jun 2013 #1
L0oniX Jun 2013 #2
Recursion Jun 2013 #3
NoOneMan Jun 2013 #4
Recursion Jun 2013 #5
NoOneMan Jun 2013 #6
Recursion Jun 2013 #7
NoOneMan Jun 2013 #9
Recursion Jun 2013 #10
NoOneMan Jun 2013 #14
snot Jun 2013 #8
snot Jun 2013 #12
OilemFirchen Jun 2013 #17
snot Jun 2013 #37
Recursion Jun 2013 #13
Pholus Jun 2013 #11
Recursion Jun 2013 #15
Pholus Jun 2013 #16
Recursion Jun 2013 #18
Pholus Jun 2013 #21
Recursion Jun 2013 #22
Savannahmann Jun 2013 #19
Recursion Jun 2013 #20
Savannahmann Jun 2013 #23
baldguy Jun 2013 #24
Pholus Jun 2013 #25
Politicalboi Jun 2013 #26
Recursion Jun 2013 #28
SomethingFishy Jun 2013 #27
Recursion Jun 2013 #29
SomethingFishy Jun 2013 #30
newthinking Jun 2013 #32
treestar Jun 2013 #36
sigmasix Jun 2013 #31
newthinking Jun 2013 #34
MineralMan Jun 2013 #33
treestar Jun 2013 #35

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:04 PM

1. No, not really. EOM

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:05 PM

2. Corporations and credit card companies need to know too...

 

so they can cut off your credit and insurance before it cost them too much.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:06 PM

3. Good point. Do you (or anyone else) trust HHS not to sell your information to pharma?

And if as a party we don't, we need to rethink our goals on health care.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:09 PM

4. So trusting the government to educate is akin to trusting the government to spy on people?

 

These institutions are entirely separate with different goals, staff and purposes. For God's sake....you are comparing the education of children (typically a liberal cause) to mass state surveillance (typically a fascist cause). Sure, there is always going to be some potential for absue anywhere and conflict with anything, but when one government institution is engaged in spying, torture, rendition, kill lists/assassinations, well, I'd say the implications of misuse go much, much further than what happens in the classroom.

"The Government" is not a single homogenous entity.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:11 PM

5. I'm trusting them not to spy when they analyze communications traffic patterns

I also trust them not to sell my health information to Merck, or my kids' academic progress information to Kaplan.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

6. That *is* spying

 

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

7. Nope (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:16 PM

9. Oh, only when Bush does it?

 

Not to worry. All that data they collected while spying will be re-analyzed and sifted through when the next right-wing asshole is in charge to profile you further according to new standards.

And yes, it is spying by tautology.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:17 PM

10. No, not then either. Who calls whom is not protected information

Who emails whom is not protected information. Never has been.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:21 PM

14. "To seek or observe something secretly and closely.", "To discover by close observation."

 

Spying.


I don't care if this information is "protected" (defined by laws the government itself writes). Their secret observation of it--for military purposes to profile and identify potential threats--is spying by its very definition.

Its getting silly

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:14 PM

8. Hold it:

Last edited Fri Jun 28, 2013, 02:13 PM - Edit history (1)

"Has this revelation made anybody rethink support for single payer healthcare? Gun registration? Product safety regulation?"

Theoretically and in practice, the government can be more directly answerable to the people than corporations.

To carry out large infrastructure projects or essential services for large populations, a decent-sized organization is needed.

So far, the only such organizations we've invented are, more or less, governments, religious organizations, corporations, and user-owned organizations such as unions and cooperatives.

Of those alternatives, user-owned organizations seem least vulnerable to hijacking by sociopaths and governments more vulnerable but still better than corporations or, i.m.h.o., religions.

The problem with letting government control healthcare or gun registration NOW is that we've allowed our government to become largely owned the 1%. HOWEVER, since we retain at least a shred of control over our government, while we have NO meaningful control over corporations and while it does not appear feasible to replace most government or other kinds of orgs with user-owned orgs in the foreseeable future, it appears we are best off trying to keep infrastructure and essential services in the hands of government while continuing efforts to wrest control of government back from the 1%.

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Response to snot (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:20 PM

12. To clarify or continue . . .

Functions like gathering or analyzing info COULD theoretically be helpful, if used for epidemiological studies, e.g. And if government were made answerable to US, I could get on board with its gathering and analyzing a variety of kinds of info.

The problem now is the gutting of the Fourth Amendment and the complete lack of meaningful oversight in either the decisions re- what kinds of info should be collected and under what circumstances and also re- who will have access to the info and for what purposes.

The kinds of protections and oversight needed would require a very different systemic infrastructure from what we've allowed to develop. You need transparency requirements, regulatory agencies directly answerable to Congress, consistent, adequate funding for regulation, meaningful remedies for abuse, etc.

It has been done in other contexts and can and will be done again.

And it won't be easy to get there from where we are now. But I see no alternative to trying.

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Response to snot (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:56 PM

17. Nicely done.

It's worth observing, however, that a few of our observations are flawed.

1) The Fourth Amendment is not being "gutted". It is, sadly, being chiseled away, specifically by odious rulings about Miranda. But we are still comfortably safe from government overreach. Perhaps you're insinuating that the future looks dismal for the Fourth, in which case, though I defer, I understand.

2) Government is answerable to the people. We still have a stringent mechanism of checks and balances, and the judiciary is still a friend of the public. I'm bothered by others (not you) who are adamant that the public be made aware of and, accordingly, direct every machination of the government. We are not a plebiscite, though I sense that some (even on this message board) would prefer that. And think of the ramifications. We've heard numerous lectures about how a President Santorum or a President Christie might use any given government program recklessly, or even harmfully. But consider the result of any of a myriad of programs being approved and managed by the whim of society. Now that horrifies me.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #17)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 02:22 PM

37. Thank you for your moderated response.

I happen to consider the collection of all my emails, texts, online activity including healthcare records, etc., without a warrant that satisfies the Fourth Amendment -- regardless of whether anyone actually looks at any of that info today -- to qualify as "gutting."

It creates an enormous trove of info on me that the government or its cronies can potentially fish through if I happen to inconvenience them in the future.

"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."

It doesn't say, it's ok to seize all my personal "effects" so long as you don't read any of it 'til later.

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Response to snot (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:21 PM

13. How true is that? Coke killed New Coke after a week

Theoretically and in practice, the government can be more directly answerable to the people than corporations.

Really? Food Network fired Paula Deen overnight. Coke killed New Coke after a week*. Wal~Mart, of all places, started sourcing local and organic produce because people wanted that. Both systems have modes of feedback.

* OK, not entirely: you can actually still buy it a few places under the name "Coke 2"

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:20 PM

11. Quick, what to say....yeah...Snowden forgot to return library books once!


Of course, that information has value. You'd have to be completely blind to not see that the US Govt is now one of the largest customers for commercial databases. Then we have the fascination with biometrics, the "anomaly detection" software, the financial data, the phone records, the email bulk records.

Collecting every bit of information they can has absolutely nothing about compiling dossiers on every citizen in the country. It's just census research right?

Or is it cause we need to be safe from Quakers. Errr, Terrorists. Some fine FBI folks have had problems telling the difference between them in recent history.

The only way I see it, is that the US Government is massively violating Griswold v. Connecticut or its one of the most massive waste and fraud cases in recent history.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:26 PM

15. Probably some of both

the US Government is massively violating Griswold v. Connecticut or its one of the most massive waste and fraud cases in recent history.

Probably some of both, combined with the fact that the people who work in government are wonkish data-centric people who like to use statistics to back up assertions.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:39 PM

16. History lesson, by the way....

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Awareness_Office

"This would be achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social networks, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources, without any requirement for a search warrant."

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Response to Pholus (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:07 PM

18. And that was rightly killed by Congress

The medical records creepiness being one of the big reasons.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:37 PM

21. I just did an OP checking the claim that it is dead.

I can find indications in the media and Darpa websites that 75% of the initiatives in TIA are still ongoing.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

22. That's a fair point; individual programs were continued, and of course we don't know which ones.

Fair enough.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:27 PM

19. You really want to compare apples and oranges? Fine with me.

 

When is the last time that one of those departments were forced to admit they told the least untruthful lie they could under oath? When is the last time that a scandal erupted that showed they were operating not only in the shadows, but well into the darkness? Whistleblowers who do come forward are not charged with Felonies, and the process is far closer to the image created by the word Transparency.

So tell you what. I'll support those NSA/FBI/DOJ/Who knows who else things if they act like Department of Education and the HHS. If they can get up and tell the truth under oath. When whistleblowers are not charged with Espionage, when Senators and Representatives are not able to say I was worried about this, but prohibited from speaking on the grounds that it was all Top Secret. That pretty much chews up the whole "Transparent" argument right there. It also totally screws up the words Oversight, when the people who are briefed, can't tell anyone about it because that would violate Top Secret Rules of national security. HHS and Department of Education don't really have those rules. There is privacy act information that is not released, because in doing so, they commit a crime, and that is punishable.

So when you make those changes, and bring all these dark programs kicking and screaming into the light, and allow us to know the truth, not just the fantasy that is sold to us, that it really is operated well, I'll go more neutral. However, if you want my support, then back up the claims with actual policy, and legislation. Make it a felony to abuse the information. Make unauthorized access, that is to say, examining the data without a warrant which they swear never happens, punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. Then I'll get on board. Back up these most recent claims with penalties, and I'll jump on the bandwagon. But they'll never do it. Not because of the reason, which is that they are going through this information on a daily basis. But because they won't hold the "patriots" accountable.

Besides, everyone in power wants the information. Everyone in power wants to know what their opponents, and enemies (political) are doing.

Make those changes, and I'll get behind this program like I am the others. But you can't make them, Congress won't make them, and the President wouldn't sign them even if Congress passed it. We won't even discuss the facts, only the vague assurances that are coming out of Politicians Mouths.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:32 PM

20. You really want those answers?

When is the last time that one of those departments were forced to admit they told the least untruthful lie they could under oath?

HHS and Department of Education?

Well, Sebelius stated falsely before Congress that there is no private long-term home care market, and caught a ton of flak for that by opponents of ACA.

As far as education goes, that isn't my wheelhouse, but I'm pretty sure any regular from the Education forum here can list a few dozen whoppers Arne Duncan has told both in public and to Congress.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #20)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

23. And been called on it.

 

Because the information is in the public domain, and the data is available to all. That's my point. We can't argue with the NSA/DOJ/FBI/Do we have any idea who isn't involved if Booz Allen was in the know? Nobody is allowed to talk about it in public, we're left in the dark with the assurances that they're telling the truth. If anyone points out they are lying, the individual is not just labeled a whistleblower, they are charged with espionage. Spies lie, spy agencies lie, so why do we think they are telling the truth to us? Prove what they are saying is true. Don't just quote the law, show were someone was prosecuted, not for blowing the whistle, but for breaking those laws, those rules that everyone acts as if they are the commandments handed down by God and the agencies would never imagine breaking those rules.

Booz Allen had access to the NSA files on the Verizon Wiretap Order, the PRISM program. The Unbounded Information or whatever it was called program. Now, if these programs are as closely held as they now claim, and are in fact, Top Secret with need to know going out to a few trusted people. How in the hell did a Security Consulting firm get the information on the FISA court order? Are you telling me they were in the need to know loop on all of that? Why is nobody and I mean nobody asking these questions. The facts we KNOW don't match what they are telling us, so what else aren't they telling us?

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:42 PM

24. Forget about the NSA - YOUR PHONE COMPANY HAS A RECORD OF EVERY CALL YOU MAKE!!!!

 

They know everything: your phone number, your name, your address, the number, name & address of the person you're calling, the length of the call, when it was made, and they can even record the call too!!!

OMG!!!

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Response to baldguy (Reply #24)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:54 PM

25. When my phone company analyzes it to determine my loyalty, I'll worry.

Besides, at least corporations actually offer a service in return for trashing your privacy. And you can switch phone companies.

Perhaps the National Intelligence Program should be like a corporation in the way they work and pay something for the information they seek.

Half the National Intelligence Program budget, distributed in the form of credits to US citizens would work out 80 bucks a year per citizen.

Fair's fair!

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:56 PM

26. The government keeps all this stuff

 

But they have NO WAY to find your tax records if YOU need them the after 7 years. Either they are lying about the taxes, or they are lying about this and phone records.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:58 PM

28. So if the government is a bunch of lying liars who lie, why aren't we libertarians? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:58 PM

27. I love these "trust the government" threads..

Gee I can't think of any reason not to trust the government.. Well, maybe Watergate... Vietnam... Grenada, Iran, Iraq, Iran Contra, Panama, Cambodia, Syria, Laos, The Cold War, El Salvador, Lebanon, The Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Valerie Plame, Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, Yellow Cake, the PNAC, K Street, Lobbyists...


You want me to trust the government you are going to need to do better than some 3rd grade snark about my medical records..

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:59 PM

29. Are you a libertarian?

If you're trying to convince me the government can't be trusted, I'm going to have to jettison most of the Democratic platform since 1932 or so.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #29)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:05 PM

30. You trust the government. I have no desire to try to convince you otherwise..

It would be pointless. Just like trying to convince me that there is nothing fishy going on would be pointless for you. I'm not sure why you would have to jettison most of the Democratic platform though...

And no, I am an independent. Who worked for Obama and voted for him twice. Which gives me every right to bitch when the man does something I don't like.

Anything else?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #29)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 03:08 PM

32. Blind trust is not democratic

You are advocating blind trust. Unlimited government access without appropriate limitations and safeguards would be totalitarianism.

We have completely neglected to provide up to date safeguards and adequate regulations: and where we do have them they are chock full of holes made for special interests. That's a real problem!

In some ways our government has become undemocratic. Many facets are severely lacking in responsiveness, transparency, and accountability. At this point we *shouldn't* trust it. It does not deserve complete trust.

I totally believe that government is necessary. I believe in the types of government programs that the Democratic party has supported in the past. I believe that we are better off in gaining a real foothold and cleaning up and restoring a government that is accountable and responsive.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:03 PM

36. So you would not trust the government to have your medical records, correct?

They would use them against you.

So why should there be a Medicaid program? The government runs it.

You must be against single payer healthcare. That would allow the government access to your medical records.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 02:39 PM

31. progressives share in the belief that government can do good

The new deal, medicare, medicaid, social security, public roads and common spaces, national parks, WIC, the CDC, the national science foundation, NASA, the internet, abolishing slavery, attacking Jim crow election laws, defending us from the Nazis, fascist italy and japan's broken monarchy during WW2, regulations on dangerous explosives and toxic chemicles, medical care for our veterans, safe building codes and basic community health standards, caring for developmentally disabled individuals in a humane way, labor laws and protections for american workers, disease irradification (polio and malaria and HIV)
Progressives differ from right wingers in so far that we believe the government has an obligation to rectify inequities within our country and the world at large. Right wingers see this potential for governmental success in creating a more equitable society as a threat to thier established power and fortunes. The criminal wealthy know that Americans would come together to fight them and thier insatiable desire for more money and power- unless Americans can be convinced that the government is the enemy, instead of the wealthy murderers that have been controlling and destroying all the things the government used to be able to accomplish that made America great.
Right wing reactionary extremists hate America and all the good it has ever done- hence thier attacks on American values and liberties.
Progressives have proven over and over again that the American people are capable of darn near any accomplishment when the government is able to communicate the urgency and neccessity of the situation along with offering a stable framework supported by federal coffers and individual talents of government employees.
My God, don't any of these right wing reactionaries love anyone but themselves?

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #31)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:00 PM

34. Good, democratic, transparent, regulated, and accountable government is good

But we are in a historic period where those things are not adequate and while the government does a number of things well and good for us, it does a number of other things not well and not always in the people's interest.

Government programs in and of themselves are a component of all societies. Totalitarian societies all have medical and social welfare programs!

We are discussing a very important distinction. We should all be paying great attention and participating in the discussion.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 03:21 PM

33. And let us not mention the IRS,

which has year and years of records on almost all Americans who are adults.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 08:02 PM

35. Exactly

Barring Libertarians, most people are going to give far more information about themselves to the government than the metadata can every provide.

Think of what the IRS already knows.

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