ACLU Summer Surveillance Campaign:

The ACLU has a pretty funny Flash movie up on its website about surveillance; the basic idea is to imagine what it would be like if you called up to order a pizza and the person on the other line knew lots and lots of information about you.

It’s a clever idea, but there is something a bit fishy about the movie in the context of the ACLU’s campaign: it seems that everything in the movie involves private-sector information gathering, and yet the “action” that the ACLU prompts you to take appears to be focused primarily on government datamining. Based on the ACLU website, it seems that the primary goal of the ACLU’s campaign is to defund the MATRIX law enforcement database. Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s not obvious to me what the connection is between MATRIX and what the pizza guy knows about you. Private-sector information gathering is quite different from government datamining: the former concerns restrictions on private parties obtaining information, and the latter concerns government agencies sharing and looking through the information that they have already obtained. I guess MATRIX didn’t lend itself to a funny movie.

Thanks to Macondo Law for the link.

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