By Mike Gray

On The Freeman Online weblog, Wendy McElroy sees something profoundly un-American in the recent proliferation of fusion centers, data coordination units that can, on the one hand, help in law enforcement or, conversely, become Big Brother in a heartbeat if the political situation deteriorates:

Violation of privacy rights, excessive secrecy, lack of congressional oversight, the inevitability of inaccurate and noncorrectable information, the lack of due process for the accused, the encouragement of racial/religious profiling, the creation of a “snitch” nation, the merging of the military with the private sector, the political abuse of dissidents – the objections scroll on.

They’ve already abused citizens’ rights, according to McElroy:

… the elaborate infrastructure of fusion centers has spied on peaceful citizens. Those who believe the abuses are aberrations, rather than an inherent or intended function, may argue that increased transparency will bring accountability and solve the problem. But that belief is naive.
…. A massive database on peaceful citizens, a tip hotline that encourages turning in of neighbors, the casting of suspicion on daily activities, enlisting private workers as national surveillance agents — this is a police state in the making.

Technology is amoral; the uses that people make of it can either improve life or make it a living hell.

Mike Gray