KEEP BIG BROTHER'S HANDS OFF THE INTERNET
November 25, 2002 10:32 AM   Subscribe

KEEP BIG BROTHER'S HANDS OFF THE INTERNET Ashcroft as Senator! That was then. This is now. Does it still apply?
posted by Postroad (16 comments total)

 
those words look like they'd be pretty tough to chew. but ashy will just raise the specter of 9/11, say everything has changed, and spit them unmasticated into a napkin while the public nods its sheeplike head.
posted by quonsar at 10:42 AM on November 25, 2002


That's pretty interesting; it would appear at first blush that Ashcroft was taking a position on computer privacy which is at odds, to some degree, with his current position. In fairness to Ashcroft, however, I think it's important to take note of a couple things.

First, the bulk of the linked polemic discussed regulation of encryption: Ashcroft was opposed to it as a senator. As Attorney General, he seems to hold a similar view; I don't remember any instances of the current Justice Department demanding tighter regulation of encryption technology.

Second, the political situation has changed a great deal since Ashcroft wrote this essay. When it was written, Clinton and Reno were in charge. Now, Ashcroft is in charge. Of course it would be natural for him to favor more governmental power when he's the individual who that power is flowing to. [/sarcasm]
posted by mr_roboto at 10:50 AM on November 25, 2002


He can do that, but it would be defeated with in the text of his own document as well as, you were wrong then, you are wrong now...

"There is a concern that the internet could be used to commit crimes ..... However, we do not provide the govt with phone jacks outside our homes ... Why should we grant govt the orwellian capability to listen at will ...."

" The protections of the fourth amendment are clear ...."

Etc ...
posted by Imocrep at 10:53 AM on November 25, 2002


The state's interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens' Bill of Rights.

Unless someone calls that citizen an enemy combatant. Then, let the eagle soar.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:58 AM on November 25, 2002


That was then. This is now. Does it still apply?

Of course it doesn't apply now. Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

One might also ask about those pesky "nation building" criticisms of a few years back by a particular political ideology. Of course that was then, this is now. Or maybe ask about a particular political ideology's stance on air travel security a few years ago. Of course that was then, this is now. Or maybe even about big government and "Homeland Security"...or about oil conservation...or about the support of petty Mideast tyrants....or about supplying arms to the world....

That was then. This is now. Get it?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:07 AM on November 25, 2002


The 4th Amendment: RIP
posted by homunculus at 11:14 AM on November 25, 2002


Two amendments gone in one day? Wow!! Not even I thought they would move this fast!
posted by nofundy at 11:41 AM on November 25, 2002


There's a good editorial over at the Wall Street Journal that points out that "Civil liberties watchdogs are yapping over nothing" about the FISA decision at least. The 4th amendment is fine, you guys. Sheesh.
posted by wrffr at 11:48 AM on November 25, 2002


However, the Total Information Awareness proposal that's been suggested is a lot more Orwellian and is unlikely to pass constitutional scrutiny.
posted by wrffr at 11:50 AM on November 25, 2002


Two amendments gone in one day? Wow!! Not even I thought they would move this fast!

Yeah, what's with the liberal armageddon rally today? Usually we get at least a few good links between the trolls about how the world is going to end because of the Republicans, but today seems to be solid lamenting.

Is this some holiday I don't know about?
posted by oissubke at 11:56 AM on November 25, 2002


oval office: blowjobs, not snowjobs. i pine for the good old days.
posted by quonsar at 12:06 PM on November 25, 2002


quonsar, Why do you hate America so much?
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2002


"Yeah, what's with the liberal armageddon rally today?"

Yeah, don't they know it's easier to just trust the government? Why the need to question all the time? What's wrong with these idiots? Just because major government officials turn out to be two-faced liars they need to run around pointing that out? What's the point? So what if Ashcroft is a liar? He's trying to defeat the forces of evil. Give him some slack. The man is busy. With all those prayer meeting with his staff, and covering up nasty statues, and avoiding black cats it's a wonder he has time to contradict himself like this. Geez. What do people want?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:37 PM on November 25, 2002


Oissubke: jealously guarding the freedoms outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is hardly a liberal activity (although, as always, there are a lot of Chicken Littles around).
posted by deadcowdan at 1:26 PM on November 25, 2002


However, the Total Information Awareness proposal that's been suggested is a lot more Orwellian and is unlikely to pass constitutional scrutiny

Sure it will! All it will take is a couple more old-timers falling at home; Bush will take care of the rest.
posted by rushmc at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2002


"Does it still apply?" was the question, and I think it still does, if you believe that any transaction or international transfer of information via the internet was 100% safe in the first place. I don't.
posted by hama7 at 9:15 PM on November 25, 2002


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