[Hpn] Personal Privacy the chimera, as told to John Poindexter

Thomas Cagle nh-adapt@juno.com
Tue, 17 Dec 2002 11:32:44 -0500


--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Mr.Liberal" <bush_stole_election@fastmail.fm>

Keeping Track of John Poindexter  By Paul Boutin 

 Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,56860,00.html
 
 02:00 AM Dec. 14, 2002 PT
 
 The head of the government's Total Information Awareness project, which
 aims to root out potential terrorists by aggregating credit-card,
travel,
 medical, school and other records of everyone in the United States, has
 himself become a target of personal data profiling. 
 
 Online pranksters, taking their lead from a San Francisco journalist,
are
 publishing John Poindexter's home phone number, photos of his house and
 other personal information to protest the TIA program. 
 
 Matt Smith, a columnist for SF Weekly, printed the material -- which he
 says is all publicly available -- in a recent column: "Optimistically, I
 dialed John and Linda Poindexter's number -- (301) 424-6613 -- at their
 home at 10 Barrington Fare in Rockville, Md., hoping the good admiral
and
 excused criminal might be able to offer some insight," Smith wrote. 
 
 "Why, for example, is their $269,700 Rockville, Md., house covered with
 artificial siding, according to Maryland tax records? Shouldn't a Reagan
 conspirator be able to afford repainting every seven years? Is the
Donald
 Douglas Poindexter listed in Maryland sex-offender records any relation
 to the good admiral? What do Tom Maxwell, at 8 Barrington Fare, and
James
 Galvin, at 12 Barrington Fare, think of their spooky neighbor?" 
 
 Smith said he wrote the column to demonstrate the sense of violation he
 felt over his personal records being profiled by secretive government
 agencies. 
 
 "I needed to call Poindexter anyway, and it seemed like a worthy concept
 that if he's going to be compiling data that most certainly will leak
 around to other departments and get used, one way to get readers to
think
 about it was to turn that around," Smith said. 
 
 What Smith didn't realize was that Poindexter's phone number and other
 information would end up on more than 100 Web pages a week later as
 others took up the cause. 
 
 Phone-phreaking hackers supplied details on the Verizon switch serving
 the admiral's home. The popular Cryptome privacy-issues website posted
 satellite photos of the house. 
 
 Poindexter could not be reached for comment for this story, and calls to
 his home phone now reach a recording: "The party you are calling is not
 available at this time." 
 
 Since the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency began awarding
 contracts for the Total Information Awareness project in August, the
 effort has been criticized by both civil rights advocates and
data-mining
 experts. 
 
 The dispute over TIA seems to fall not along straight political party
 lines, but between advocates and opponents of the government's right to
 monitor its own citizens. Former President Clinton expressed support for
 the project in a recent public appearance, while conservative New York
 Times columnist William Safire recently wrote a pointed editorial
 criticizing the idea. 
 
 One Bush voter, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the pranks
on
 Poindexter: "If they're making him as uncomfortable as we are, good." 
  
the S.W.Liberal                       free from the corporate media
http://www.rfpi.org               http://www.indymedia.org               




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