Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Iatrogenic Allegations


(Saturn-Chronos-"Father Time": Image source)
Obama has a "Plan For Curbing Gun Violence" and it makes mention of an alliance (of sorts) between government investigative types and medical professionals (Sources: 1, 2, & 3). The plan prompts careful readers to raise a number of questions, among them questions as to the extent of the role envisioned for doctors.

Doctors and other mental health professionals play an important role in protecting the safety of their patients and the broader community by reporting direct and credible threats of violence to the authorities. But there is public confusion about whether federal law prohibits such reports about threats of violence. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits these reports in any way. ... Doctors and other health care providers also need to be able to ask about firearms in their patients’ homes and safe storage of those firearms, especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses or if they have a young child or mentally ill family member at home. Some have incorrectly claimed that language in the Affordable Care Act prohibits doctors from asking their patients about guns and gun safety. (Source: "Now is the Time," p. 9, emphasis added.)
Several commentators have expressed concern. See, for example, here, here, and here. Others (see here) are ridiculing the worries as literally incredible. Antecedently, I am a bit wary of media "analyses" (for example, here).

So, in the interest of adjudicating between the (polar extremes of) contrary opinions, I offer the following as a bit of historical context.

 "The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents
 and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. 
The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. 
It was a device by means of which everyone could be 
surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately."
~ George Orwell, 1984

Doctors and teachers to act as 'informers' to target violent offenders BEFORE they strike under controversial new 'Minority Report' plans

Firefighters asked to report people who express discontent with the government

Beauty salon workers recruited as informants

Spy Grid Part Of Consumer Technology

How Bankers Spy on You

What Retailers Know About Us

Areva Adopts UWB-Location Tracking for Personnel Safety

Vast F.D.A. Effort Tracked E-Mails of Its Scientists

"Telescreens are featured in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. They are television and security camera-like devices used by the ruling Party in Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance..."

How They're Watching You (Slideshow)


CCTV boom has failed to slash crime, say police

CCTV doesn't keep us safe, yet the cameras are everywhere

Chicago links school cameras to 911 center,1,2664278.story

US doles out millions for street cameras

School Spies on Students at Home via Webcam, They're Watching Every Move,0,6653886.column?coll=hc_home_xpromo _hi_te/us_laptops_spying_on_students/print

Talking Camera Tackles City Crime: Baltimore's New Surveillance Cameras Will Scold Wrong-Doers
AP / CBS News | Nov. 17, 2005
BALTIMORE - The city's newest breed of surveillance camera will do more than keep an eye on vandals, litterbugs and other miscreants. The cameras will also give the crooks a talking-to. Baltimore's Board of Estimates has approved five talking cameras - armed with motion detectors, a bright flash and a recorded warning, as part of an effort to curb quality-of-life crimes, especially illegal dumping. When the solar-powered cameras detect motion, they will issue a scolding: "Stop. This is a restricted area. It is illegal to dump trash or spray graffiti here. We have just taken your photograph. We will use this photograph to prosecute you. Leave the area now." ...

Speed enforcement cameras

New security camera can 'see' through clothes

Scanners that see through clothing installed in US airports

Lambert scanners pit security vs. privacy

Surveillance Cameras Win Broad Support

New York to fight terrorism with more street-corner cameras

Cleveland increasing surveillance cameras on trains, buses

West Virginia: Bill Turns Traffic Cameras into Spy Cameras

Dallas To Increase Number Of Surveillance Cameras

DC's Video Surveillance System


No [evidence] airport security makes flying safer:study
Maggie Fox | Eric Walsh, Ed. | Thu Dec 20 | Reuters
WASHINGTON - Airport security lines can annoy passengers, but there is no
evidence that they make flying any safer...

Amtrak riders to see more cops, face random bag searches

Have Cell Phones Become Personal Tracking Devices?,8599,2019239,00.html?xid=rss-fullnation-yahoo

Your cell phone is telling your secrets

Humans 'will be implanted with microchips'

U.S. School District to Begin Microchipping Students

Texas school can force teenagers to wear locator chip: judge

Judge: School can move girl in ID-tracking case

All Airport Employees To Have Microchip Implants?

Hospitals tagging babies with electronic chips

Tracking Children

ACT to offer tracking of student performance from kindergarten on

New car purchases starting in June will have a mandatory black box installed

The Biometric Cataloging of Americans at Home

Police Swabbing Mouths During Traffic Stops In Serial Killer Hunt


U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizen

Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans

The Surveillance State Grows Another Tentacle

DNA collection bill wins approval,0,5838470.story

Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls
 "During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored
millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries
under a super secret program code-named Echelon. ... ...the NSA had been monitoring
private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s -
all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks. ..."

Bush order allows domestic spying

Bush order allows domestic spying 
"Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretlyauthorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years..."
(JAMES RISEN and ERIC LICHTBLAU, New York Times, December 15, 2005)

Bush admits telecoms spied

Bush orders NSA to snoop on US agencies

Bush surveillance program was massive

Dems muscle through surveillance bill

Senate Considers Adding Universal Wiretapping Amendments to Telecom Act

Senate Passes Bill to Expand Government’s Spying Powers

House passes new surveillance law

Centers Tap Into Personal Databases

Echelon spy network revealed:
Listening in to your phone calls and reading your emails

Britain, US in talks on international criminal database: police

CIA plans massive expansion of spying on Americans

FBI Keeps Watch on Activists
Antiwar, other groups are monitored to curb violence, not because of ideology, agency says.
 DENVER - The FBI, while waging a highly publicized war against terrorism, has spent
resources gathering information on antiwar and environmental protesters and on
activists who feed vegetarian meals to the homeless, the agency's internal memos show. ...
(Nicholas Riccardi, LA Times, March 28 2006)

ACLU Says FBI Spying on Religious, Protest Groups
 WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday accused the FBI and local
police of spying on political and faith-based groups and formally asked the government
for information about such FBI surveillance. ...
(Reuters, December 2, 2004)

FBI wants instant access to British identity data,,2241005,00.html

Pentagon closes controversial intelligence unit

Pentagon will buy satellites to do more spying

High-resolution satellite launched in California

FBI's GPS tracking

Whistle-Blower: Feds Have a Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier

Feds want to require visitors' fingerprints

NSA Found Improperly Spying on Americans

NSA just one of many federal agencies spying on Americans

TSA wants more information


TSA plan to gather more data protested
"...may be more likely to experience delays, 
be subjected to additional screening (or) be denied transport..."

Government ... to Turn Internet and Phone Systems into Permanent Spying Architecture

Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress

NASA: Secret shuttle launch (X-37B spy vehicle)

How Technology Can Help Trim Auto Insurance
M.P. McQueen | provided by The Wall Street Journal | Saturday, June 28, 2008
"Drivers who participate in these plans have devices installed in their cars that, depending on the technology used, can track the number of miles driven, the speed at which cars are driven and even how often and how hard the brakes are used. By allowing their habits behind the wheel to be monitored, drivers get lower insurance rates -- or pay higher premiums if they're lead-footed road hogs."

High-tech gear disables car if borrower misses payment

Woman loses benefits over Facebook pics

Four states adopt 'no-smiles' policy for driver's licenses

Wiretapping focus shifts to email, as firms move data overseas

AT&T and Other I.S.P.s May Be Getting Ready to Filter

RIAA chief calls for copyright filters on PCs: By deception or force if necessary

Google Says Privacy Doesn't Exist, Get Used To Everyone Knowing Everything About You;jsessionid=1WGWHXPQ2N2R0QSNDLPSKHSCJUNN2JVN

Microsoft's Censor-Bot


Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent

Tax collectors now hitting social networks to track deadbeats

Tennessee Woman Arrested for Facebook 'Poke'

US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or Web search

CIA is watching tweets, Facebook

Facebook: The New Look of Surveillance

Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks

Calls for police oversight of online networking

Is Twitter a Criminal Accomplice?

The government is reading your tweets

NYPD Battles Twitter for Identity of User

U.S. Spies Want to Find Terrorists in World of Warcraft

U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets

Printer dots raise privacy concerns
Thomas Frank | USA TODAY
"More manufacturers are outfitting greater numbers of laser printers with technology that leaves microscopic yellow dots on each printed page to identify the printer's serial number — and ultimately, you, says the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the leading watchdogs of electronic privacy."

No such thing as "deleted" on the Internet

Federal Agents Urged to 'Friend' People on Social Networks, Memo Reveals

Break the law and your new 'friend' may be the FBI

FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

Remote activation of webcams

"...a website that tracks users' online activities..."

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