Sunday, November 22, 2015

The database

Donald Trump is taking flak for proposing a "Muslim database." In fact, this was proposed by a reporter, Trump never said it. Trump's mistake is that he didn't address the idea. As if the content of a reporter's question is his responsibility.

What he did say, however, is worse:
Well, we're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.
The larger point that seems to have gone missing is that there already is a database of Muslims... and tea partiers and ACLU supporters and college protesters and gun owners and Bernie Sanders contributors and... well, what ever filters the NSA wishes to apply to the bulk data they're collecting.

They already know where you've been, if an email had a keyword they're looking for, your age, your race, your charitable contributions, where you were born, what you've purchased, what you read, what you eat and drink, the state of your health and who you've called and when. Do you really think they can't already pretty precisely figure out your religion? A bit of information, moreover, some of you may have already directly declared on some government form or other.

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