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Privacy, fare well. Hope we will see you again (Was: Debian Edu Extremadura work meeting june 2006)

[Andreas Schuldei]
> Please send me your passport number and your name *EXACTLY* as they
> appear in your passport. otherwise you might have problems to
> retrive your eticket at the airport.

Wow, that was a new one.  I've never seen a ticket office requiring
passport number before.  For privacy reasons, I prefer not to share
that number with the ticket office.  Why is it not enough with name
and address?

Privacy is not just some irrelevant convenience issue, it is a
question of principles and and a question on who should be able to use
and misuse information about other people.  I personally believe the
answer to two questions give a good indication if a proposal should go
through or not:

  - Would we reacted negatively if the suggestion had been implemented
    in USSR during the cold war?

  - Would the secret police of a force invading our country be happy
    to find the suggestion implemented?

If both are true, like with the recent EU regulation to store all
communication patterns for several years, it should be fought.  And
registering the peoples travel patterns is equally problematic, as it
give government yet another a database to misuse, and criminals yet
another source of information.

(And for those of you believing that we should let go of our freedom
to gain security, I trust that you know that there is nothing new
about this discussion, and probably also know this quote from
President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): "Those who desire to give up
freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve,
either one."  It is still true today.  Power corrupts, and giving the
government more power by reducing our freedom will not give us more
security only less freedom)

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