26 February 2006

Paying for Restrictions on Freedom & the QOTD

True or false: We live in a free society?

Sadly, the answer to that question, in my opinion, is becoming more false than true as time marches on, especially in today's day and age. And now, we're going to have to pay -- out of our own pockets, so to speak -- for some of the restrictions that are increasingly being placed upon us. Thanks to Nelson Minar, a Google employee, for the heads-up on this story:
College campuses in the US are being asked to foot the bill to allow law enforcement to eavesdrop on their students' online conversations.
What's that, you didn't know that law enforcement was eavesdropping on the online activities of the American higher education system? The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains it all.

Additional resources on this or related topics include Wikipedia's article about the current controversy of the United States spying on its citizens;the Foreign Policy In Focus think tank's wonderful article by a retired U.S. Army Colonel covering the subject of domestic spying activities, and Alex Jones's excellent analysis of the United States Patriot Act II, aka the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003. Also be sure to check out the analysis of the Patriot Act II by the ACLU.

With the severe erosion of personal liberties that have been occurring lately, I'm beginning to think that Al Qaeda has won their little war against us. And that reminds me of this famous little pearl of wisdom from Benjamin Franklin:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759