>> if you have nothing to hide, you should have nothing to worry about
Tell that to Khalid El-Masri. He was kidnapped by the CIA, flown to Afghanistan, tortured, and later released when they realized he was actually a German who's only crime was having a name similar to that of a known terrorist.
All the pre-paid bill will do is encourage criminals to engage in more identity-theft. But you certainly won't mind flying to Guantanamo and explaining to the CIA why some radical milita member blew up a government building after you apparently bought him a phone, right?
He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
I don't like this bill either.
Criminals will find a way around anything, including giving out their information. All this will do is just make more people the victims of identity theft, all for the benefit of crime. And I don't feel comfortable with giving my information whenever I want to buy a pre-paid cellphone. While I do feel comfortable with giving out my information to a cell phone company for a contract. I just don't feel comfortable giving out information for a cellphone that I may or may not use again.
"The future starts with you; now start posting more!"
Good grief Ray, what an awful post. It is staggering how many things you get wrong in a few short paragraphs. Here’s a critique of one part of one sentence: “..but given that post-paid mobile users already have to give up their personal information, there's no reason to prevent pre-paid users from doing the same."
1) post-paid subscribers do not have to give up their info. They implicitly choose to do so because they have the option to purchase an anonymous pre-paid phone. Schumer’s bill takes away this choice, removing a liberty from the 99.999999% of Americans who are not terrorists or drug dealers.
2) The phrase ”there’s no reason to prevent…” is nonsense that inaccurately reframes your argument. “there’s no reason” is exactly that, no reason. One should not do something simply because one can’t think of a reason not to do it – especially Congress! Also, pre-paid buyers are not “prevented” from anything – in fact they are ‘not forced’ to give personal information. Big difference. Again, CHOICE, or liberty, is the concept you fail to comprehend.
3) Taking it all together (and ignoring problems 1 and 2) reveals yet another failure of logic: if users of ‘A’ have to do ‘X’, then users of ‘B’ should have to do ‘X’. Wrong. Try substituting two other products for A and B, like “hairspray” and “guns.”
As a tech-blogger, instead of wading into politics, you might have kept it neutral or written about the gaping technical loophole in the plan (a little thing called VOIP). The same technology the military, the government, and Chuck Schumer use for classified communications is easily implemented on a smart phone or laptop, allowing drug dealers and terrorists to chat all they want. The bill will do nothing for our national security.
Also, if you insist on editorializing on politics, please take a few minutes to grasp the basics of the opposing viewpoint. You have mindlessly rehashed the "if you have nothing to hide…” argument with no regard for its faulty underpinnings. Read some Bruce Schneier or Daniel Solove if you care to better understand the privacy debate.
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