Today's Oxymoron: "Necessary Evil"

by Edward Langenback

© 05/05/06

The first story in this issue is one that I cannot for the life of me understand why it's not been front page news and the primary topic of major media newscasts.

Yet I wouldn't have known about it if I didn't have a habit of watching for unusual stories. Especially in todays world I cannot understand why this story has not received more coverage. Between what should be horror that such things actually happen and the media's fascination with sensationalizing the news, this should have been all over the place.

It's another in a long list of witnesses testifying to the cold hearts of mankind. In a world where something like this can go on practically without comment, then the love of many has indeed grown cold as Jesus said would happen.

Murder Charges Filed Against Accused Child-Killer
Monday , April 17, 2006

PURCELL, Okla. - A grocery store stocker was arraigned Monday on first-degree murder charges for the killing of a 10-year-old girl in what authorities said was an elaborate plan to eat human flesh.

Kevin Ray Underwood appeared before McClain County Judge Gary D. Barger, who entered a not guilty plea for Underwood.

Underwood, led into court with his hands and feet shackled, spoke softly as he told the judge he needed a public defender.

Full Article:,2933,192016,00.html

Remember when a tv announcer would proclaim "Don't touch that dial!"? Well, If broadcasters get their wishes, new technology from Royal Philips Electronics will make it possible for them to prevent you from changing channels during commercials.

In my opinion, if nothing is done to stop it, it will eventually happen and tv equipment will be manufactured to comply with this.

How much longer before we are faced with George Orwell's world where television sets also have video pickups that users cannot control??

... All in the name of National Security of course =====
New Technology May Force TV Ad Viewing
Apr 19, 9:51 PM (ET)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - In this era of easy ad skipping with TiVo-like video recorders, could television viewers one day be forced to watch commercials with a system that prevents channel switching?

Yes, according to Royal Philips Electronics. A patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says researchers of the Netherland-based consumer electronics company have created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze a channel during a commercial, so viewers wouldn't be able to avoid it.

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Once again, Privacy is taking a hit. In an action that, on the surface, sounds good and even makes a certain amount of sense. The US Attorney General and others are making noises about requiring ISP's to retain information about your online activities.

This kind of data retention is simply, a violation of privacy and yet another step down the road to the police state in which a 'Big Brother' agency is watching our every move.

The problem with things like this is that, as in this case, they're very often built around noble causes and righteous pursuits such as stopping child pornography, catching and prosecuting those responsible for making and spreading it around.

It is indeed a great cause. One that most people will get behind for two reasons... 1) They seriously want to eliminate this evil. and 2) It's polical suicide to NOT be actively against something like child pornography... something that everybody agrees needs to stop.

The question is where do we draw the line? How much invasiveness and snooping in the name of good intentions is too much?

When the solution is just as evil as the problem it's time to rethink the entire situation. Giving up privacy, freedom and/or security is NEVER part of a good answer to ANY problem!

Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: April 28, 2006, 5:06 PM PDT

It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress.

Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.

Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed.

It's not clear whether that requirement would be limited only to e-mail providers and Internet providers such as DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable modem services. An expansive reading of DeGette's measure would require every Web site to retain those records. (Details would be left to the Federal Communications Commission.)

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