Saturday, August 8, 2009 Contains Orwellian Government Disclaimer

Ever since reading George Orwell's 1984 several years ago, I've developed a somewhat heightened sensitivity towards any Government action that appears to be trending the route of Big Brother. Orwell doesn't provide a great degree of detail about the years which preceded the book's beginning (fictionally speaking), but it's most likely that the oppressiveness and extreme level of surveillance imposed by Big Brother did not happen all at once. No; it is much more likely that the residents of Oceania experienced a creeping, pervasive and subtle loss of freedoms, so slow in fact that the process might have been barely noticeable. It's quite similar to the "frog in boiling water" concept; which is to say that you can set a frog into a pot of cold water and light the range underneath it, and the frog will not jump out of the water - he will be killed though as the water reaches a hot enough temperature. In contrast, the same frog would immediately abandon the pot of water if you were to toss him into Already hot water. Humans are much the same; it is very easy to incrementally strip freedoms from a society, provided that those in charge do not become too ambitious with the rate and speed at which they "chip away".

Now that my Orwellian-averse tendencies have been explained, allow me to expose a rather troubling "Privacy Notice" that I happened upon, courtesy of a portion of Glenn Beck's program, shown in part below.

In short, when one enters the Cash-for-Clunkers government website - - and attempt to enter the "system" where you presumably hope to exploit one of the most wasteful and destructive government programs ever conceived, you will be faced with the following privacy notice:

"This application provides access to the DOT CARS system. When logged onto the CARS system, your computer is considered a federal computer system and is the property of the U.S. Government. Any or all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized CARS, DOT, and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign."
It goes without saying that I - and presumably most others - disdain the mere thought that my personal (property) computer can be seized by the federal government. This is not acceptable.

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