Monday, May 22, 2006

26.5 Million Victims

Computers are wonders. But there’s a price being paid, and yet to be paid, for relying on them so much. I worry about touch-screen voting machines with no paper record. I know it sounds paranoid, but I do. The Internet is even more of a wonder, but it opens more doors that swing both ways.

Stories like this one about another huge batch of supposedly protected information being easily stolen are disturbing: “Thieves Steal Personal Data of 26.5M Vets.”

“Thieves took sensitive personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, after a Veterans Affairs employee improperly brought the material home, the government said Monday. The information involved mainly those veterans who served and have been discharged since 1975, said VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. Data of veterans discharged before 1975 who submitted claims to the agency may have been included.”

Then I think about the Bush administration’s hell-bent notions about spying on the American public, emails and phone records being looked at, the coming of national ID cards, etc., all in the name of making us safer. Safer! Safer from what? Seems like we're back to burning the village down, once again, in order to save it.

Makes a man thirsty just to think about it. Without the availability of cheap beer -- in my case Pabst Blue Ribbon -- this would be impossible to endure.

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