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Privacy for what it’s worth

06 Dec

“I like large parties, they’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy.”

That is a quote from The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

It would lead one to believe that Big Data would be more intimate, and more private.  That point can clearly be argued but also gets to the mischievous nature that Gatsby is writing about.  It is easier to be lost in the crowd at a large party.  Encounters can take place without exposure.  The rule of law becomes self-enforcement or unenforceable.

Freedom and law abiding are related topics but don’t always pull in the same direction.

Intentions are always important.

We need to move towards a more regulated and law abiding system of information management.

What we are willing to give up

06 Dec

We gave up our information in exchange for convenience.  A while back we had choices.  We may still have a choice.

Live without a bank account, credit card, insurance, car, phone, drivers license…never fly, rent a car, have cable tv, get on the internet…


It would be a stark life, but you could make it.  Not having a credit score means renting.  You would have to pay cash for everything.

Your medicine and healthcare would have to come from free clinics.

In order to pay taxes  and file a return you would need a Social Security number and you would have to have a SSN to have a job.  You might be able to make one up….but I am not sure.


Big Data Peeps

21 Jul

When did we agree to let our data be used for research?

Just because this information is available for use does not make it right to use it.  We need to stop letting our personal data be used without our consent.  The only way to control that use is to protect it in a secure container that we control.  Help inform others of the need for legal protection for our personal data.


Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug Problems : Shots – Health News : NPR.



Police Searches of Cellphones

29 Apr

All data is not the same – some of it is personal. 

Do you consider your Cellphone your personal Property?
Do you think the data on your CellPhone is your personal property?
Do you believe that a warrant should be needed to search your personal property as provided in the 4th amendment?
What protections does the U.S. Constitution provide and how do those protections work in today’s society?

Supreme Court Taking Up Police Searches of Data Troves Known as Cell phones –

Micro payment systems

05 Mar

We acknowledge the comment made by Jaron Lanier about micro payment systems, but it may be possible for micro payment systems to work auto-autonomously as long as there is bi-directional communication and protocols.  The need for a bi-directional URL may NOT be necessary.  The foundation of a micro payment economy may lie in the development of a personal data system of information management as proposed by Pea Computing.

Why we must stop bullying

08 Dec

Sovereign Nations must stop immediately bullying their citizens and other nations.  They are setting an example for the world and the world’s inhabitants that there are just causes for bullying.  The land grabs and mineral claims must stop.  The claims of governments rights over the rights of citizens is the primary problem with Sovereign States.  What authority do these Sovereign States use to justify their claims of Sovereignty?

Where do the Sovereign Nations get their authority?  From the other Sovereign Nations.  They have to cooperate in order to maintain a balance of insanity.

If I had a big enough military, I could make a claim to the entire earth.  If I could defend my territory, I can claim any property as mine.

I maintain that Sovereignty is the root cause of behaviors that use force to exert control over others.  The United Nations is an organization that gives authority and credibility to these Sovereign Nations.  It is the club of bullies.  We can see them as something else, but the United Nations must change their charter to represent the Life, Liberty and Safety of every person on this planet and not on the continuation of the current state of Sovereign Nations.

Suffering for your Digital Freedom

07 Dec

‘If your project is really about something bigger than you, you can suffer any indignities.’ –@Peggynoonannyc.


Microsoft and seven other tech giants are finally speaking out about government access to our personal data.


“In the United States, government access to personal data should respect the individual freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.”  …Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Council

Suffering for your digital freedom is a worthwhile cause.

The Personal Data Coalition has been sounding this alarm for several years now but has garnered very little attention.  As Peggy Noonan, an astute observer of our world would say, the Personal Data Advocates have suffered the indignities of being ignored. We are thankful for her inspiration for projects that are bigger than any one of us and the need to hang in there no matter how long it takes.  VIDEO:


What is the Personal Data Coalition’s project?


It is about you and your freedom in the digital world.  We can’t stop the digital world, which began with the invention of the transistor and the definition of the bit and continues to change everything about the way we live.  The benefits of a digital world are many but so are the concerns.


We can’t, for example, continue to treat personal data the way we do today.  We have to find a new way of managing our personal electronic data like is has real value — like a currency or our personal property.   We need to make sure that our personal electronic data is protected and secure and that involves changing laws, primarily the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.  You can read more here.


We need to automate the legal process of Due Process to allow our legal system to be capable of responding in an appropriate and timely manner.


If you don’t think your freedoms are under attack then don’t bother thinking about this.  If you do, then make sure your friends are thinking about this as well.


I have a dream and it is fully digital

29 Aug

I have a dream and it is fully digital

It is not 1963 and things have changed a lot since then.  But, the issues we still face are the same. It is still about jobs and freedom but now, all 99% of us are the persecuted and discriminated ones.  To varying degrees this discrimination is based on old stereotypes (race, age, religion, etc) and new ones (technical skills, network access, computer hardware).  On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington we have Dr. Martin Luther King to thank for giving us the vision of everyone holding hands and singing that Negro spiritual “Free at Last”.

To get our Freedom back we must understand how we lost it.  We gave it away.  We gave it to every company, employer, local, state, federal agencies, schools, doctors, and even friends and strangers.  To make it easier we created social networks.  If we want our Freedom back, then we have to stop giving it away.  Specifically, we have to stop giving our information away.  It is simple to say and hard in practice.

I have a dream.

…That someday we will be in control of our data and our lives.

…Someday we will all be able to build an economic model based on equality and non-discriminating technology.

…Our virtual selves will be colorless.

…that we can share only what is required and never have to give our information away again.

I have a dream that every person has free and open access to their information.

I have a dream that every every person will be equally treated by our laws and that our laws will be administered fairly.

I have a dream that our data will be given the same constitutional protections as our other personal property

and that our Government will do everything in their power to protect our property.  Our Government was created to serve its citizens.  We need that service and protection.

The digital future is real and it is here…today!  Please do not kid yourself that we know how to live in a digital world.  We do not.  Everything we do today to manage information, especially personal data is just plain wrong.  The direction we are headed will only lead us to a more dire and tragic future of a world with no jobs and no freedom.  That is digital slavery and we can’t let that happen.

The transistor invented in Bell Labs (a research division of AT&T) was created to help improve the quality and ability to talk on the telephone across the distances of the United States and the entire world.  At the same time the invention of the BIT (the basic unit of information) was published by another researcher at Bell Labs.  It is the combination of the transistor and the BIT that was the sentinel moment of the Digital Age and Revolution.


Fixing the USPS

25 Aug

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

John F. Kennedy

Listen to the entire speech here.
Fixing the USPS (United States Postal Service)

Why is it against the law to open a First Class Letter and not against the law to read someones email?

Everything is becoming digital and that includes the United States Postal Service (USPS).  You and I didn’t choose this.  This is being forced upon us. Until we run out of electric power we will move towards an ALL DIGITAL world.  Accepting this change is difficult, hard to imagine and even harder to understand what it all means.

I will argue anyone over 50 has a meme (an immutable image) of the 1960’s model of our postman / postwoman delivering our letters and picking up our outgoing mail.  We baby-boomers know that a hand-written letter carries more emphasis and the effort often shows how much we care.  Today’s generation is living in real-time.  How can the USPS compete with that world and still provide the services we rely on as a free and democratic society?  We just cannot abide the vestiges of the analog world any longer.

There are so many examples to consider.  All of our radio, television, music and telecommunications have been converted to a digital format.  Pictures, documents, tax returns, banking, finances…well, it has all been converted, and yet we still are struggling with the reality about the USPS.

With one of the largest work-forces in the United States;  over 546,000 workers are employed by the USPS.  These workers are responsible for many of the day to day functions of our countries operation and well-being.  They provide a constitutional protection of 4th amendment protection to our communications and property. A proper search warrant is required to open certain classes of mail.  Read more here

4. Can Postal Inspectors open mail if they feel it may contain something illegal?
First-Class letters and parcels are protected against search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and, as such, cannot be opened without a search warrant. If there is probable cause to believe the contents of a First-Class letter or parcel violate federal law, Postal Inspectors can obtain a search warrant to open the mailpiece. Other classes of mail do not contain private correspondence, and therefore may be opened without a warrant.

The establishment of the Postal Service in 1775 was preceded by a colonial mail service to ensure that communications between our founding fathers were not intercepted.  The freedom to send private communications has been protected by those principles for all these years and it is under siege.

These 4th amendment protections do not exist with commercial carriers like Fed-Ex.

9. Right to inspect. FedEx may inspect the shipment at any time and may permit government authorities to carry out such inspections as they may consider appropriate. FedEx, in addition, may reject or suspend the carriage of any prohibited items or one that contains materials that damage or may damage other shipments or that may constitute a risk to FedEx equipment or employees or to those of its service providers.


Digital communications are disruptive in nature and have created new challenges as well as entirely new industries.  The USPS is no longer the only way to communicate or transport personal property securely across large distances.  These changes of the Digital World have created new questions about privacy and new laws have been created to attempt to define the boundaries and rules.  We have more questions than answers and struggle to keep up with the variety and scale of the communication tools.

Nothing today in the digital world mimics the legal protections of the USPS mail box.

USPS Digital letters do not exist.  We have no constitutional protect for any electronic data.  You should think twice about getting your bills and statements delivered electronically.  Everything you do online can be copied, stored, analyzed and used for other purposes.

The USPS needs to claim a stake in the digital WWW (Wild Wild West) and provide the Federally Regulated services in digital format that we rely on today.  The question is are they capable of pushing that agenda forward?  The USPS is under attack.  We need to help the USPS protect us this day and moving forward.

The USPS has a great history that can be admired and preserved.

  • 1775 – Benjamin Franklin first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
  • 1847 – U.S. postage stamps issued
  • 1855 – Prepayment of postage required
  • 1860 – Pony Express began
  • 1863 – Free city delivery began
  • 1873 – U.S. postal cards issued
  • 1874 – General Postal Union (now Universal Postal Union) established
  • 1893 – First commemorative stamps issued
  • 1896 – Rural free delivery began
  • 1913 – Parcel Post® began
  • 1918 – Scheduled airmail service began
  • 1950 – Residential deliveries reduced to one a day
  • 1957 – Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee established
  • 1963 – ZIP Code inaugurated
  • 1970 – Express Mail® began experimentally
  • 1971 – United States Postal Service® began operations
  • 1971 – Labor contract negotiated through collective bargaining, a federal government “first”
  • 1974 – Self-adhesive stamps tested
  • 1982 – Last year Postal Service™ accepted public service subsidy
  • 1983 – ZIP+4® Code began
  • 1992 – Self-adhesive stamps introduced nationwide
  • 1993 – National Postal Museum opened
  • 1994 – Postal Service launched public Internet site
  • 1998 – U.S. semi-postal stamp issued
  • 2006 – Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act signed
  • 2007 – “Forever” stamp issued
  • 2008 – Competitive pricing for expedited mail began

We need a Digital Ben Franklin to step forward.  We need the protection of our communications to be a protected Constitutional right and it needs to extend to our digital property and data.

The USPS workers need to be retrained as digital data handlers.

Every US citizen needs a USPS “personal electronic mail-box”.

The concept of “rural delivery” in the digital world means universal service and free and open networks.  Free and Open Networks should be a part of the new USPS.

Everyone needs to be able to access their mail-box with any device connected to a network on a 24 by 7 by 365 day basis…not the commercial Internet but a secure private data network.

Laws for postal  mail should be applied to digital mail.

As Jaron Lanier explains in his new book “Who owns the future” we are headed in a direction that is both dangerous and will potentially create the next revolution.  In a NY Times article he can be summarized as follows.

“Who Owns the Future?” reiterates some ideas in Mr. Lanier’s first book: that Web businesses exploit a peasant class, that users of social media may not realize how entrapped they are, that a thriving middle class is essential to keeping the Internet sustainable. When “ordinary people ‘share,’ while elite network presences generate unprecedented fortunes,” even that elite will eventually be undermined. Mr. Lanier compares his suggestions for reconfiguring this process to Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal,” but the last thing he worries about is writerly grandiosity. “Understand that in the context of the community in which I function,” he says of Silicon Valley, “my presentation is practically self-deprecating.”

As Jaron points out…

This book may not provide many answers (“It is too early for me to solve every problem brought up by the approach I’m advocating here”), but it does articulate a desperate need for them.

My response to solving this problem is to completely redesign the information architecture we all live in today.

  1. We must stop giving away our Digital Data under the premise that it is all we can do.
  2. We must overturn the 3rd Party Doctrine rulings in favor of personal property rights in our electronic information.
  3. We must secure 4th amendment rights in our personal property and put our Sovereign Government in charge of protecting our digital property and upholding our rights for due process.
  4. We must build a new model for information management.
  5. We must build a system that protects all original works for all intellectual property and a method for economically sharing that information.

Privacy is NOT dead

29 Mar

“‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'” – George Orwell 1984

You have been told over and over that Privacy is dead, buried, gone for ever.

The Personal Data Coalition does not believe that.

We are fighting to help people understand that privacy is not a business.  It is a Constitutional Right granted in the Fourth Amendment.  Privacy can’t be something you can buy, although today, that is the prevailing idea.  Privacy is not for the smart or the Luddites.  Privacy knows no color, race, sex or religious preferences.  Privacy is really about the rule of law and society.  It is about the Truth.  Privacy is about our security.

We must feel secure in our lives or we become a society of Anarchy driven by might, guns and fear.  We cannot feel secure if others have our information and we don’t know what they are doing with it.

If our Government cannot protect it’s citizens then it fails to be relevant.  We have seen more every day where our protection is at risk and cyber-security is the next major area of risk.

“In God we Trust, all others pay cash”

With the invention of the transistor and the BIT (the basic unit of information) the digital world was born.  It is a genie we will not get back into the bottle as long as the electricity stays on.  We can’t ignore the consequences of the digital world and how it is changing society.  We can take steps to make it rational and reasonable and keep it from destroying our lives.

Steps you can take.

1. Demand that your Government protect its citizens and their property, digital or otherwise.

2. Ask your Government to develop a technology to keep your information private and secure and separate from other peoples information.

3. Spread the word that Privacy is not dead.

4. Remember that Corporations should never keep your personal information but they should be able to access your information when you agree to let them.

5. Remember that Corporations should pay you for information that they want. Nothing in this world is free.

6. Remember that protecting your personal information is the responsibility of the Government and not something we can do on our own.  No company can protect your information.  In God we Trust…..all others pay cash.

7. Know that Relational Database Technology cannot protect your information.  It is the root cause of the problem.

8. Everything is tracked, traceable and monitored.  That information is personal and should be kept private also.