From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question
Date: February 12, 2013 9:12:08 AM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
I love your posts, Rob. I disagree a lot, but you are clear and interesting.
I'm on the other side on this one. I also do not want to sound paranoid, but I have been surveiled since the bomb went off in 1968 at the U of W and I just don't mind. In fact, I would be worried about our country if they had not interviewed me. I knew two of the bombers, was a chemist, and am familiar with pyrotechnics. I knew absolutely nothing about these guys' crazy plan, but law enforcement should keep an eye on someone with my profile. Besides, they were (maybe still are) using their equipment and manpower to amass detailed evidence that I'm not up to anything. I can FOIA what they have if my memory fails.
The only disadvantage is that it sometimes slows me down at airports. To make things worse, I failed the explosive residue hand wipe once. That day I had checked a magazine for expired pyro effects. This encounter with TSA was rather intimate to say the least. And she never called or wrote.
The computer surveillance is even more astounding. One of my best friends is a government worker facing a whistleblower trial soon. Well before she moved out of her government office, her computer technician was looking for a problem and stumbled into a massive hidden file of e-mails going back years. These e-mails were not only hers, but included the addresses to which her regular contacts sent e-mails TO OTHER PEOPLE! I was incredulous. In fact, I thought she had slipped a cog. She challenged me to provide the first few letters of the e-mail addresses of people I had contacted in the last year--people she couldn't possibly know--and she would complete them for me. She did this by return mail.
So try to keep your privacy if it makes you feel better. But I think they are so far ahead of us it is probably only wear and tear on your nervous system. If it means others also collect information on what I buy, where I go, and what I do there, mazltov. Put it on the front page of the NY Times if you like. And while I'm at it, I'd really like to see surveillance cameras covering every street here in NYC and any other city I visit. They catch the bad guys--and clear the innocent. Hopefully these cameras will be upgraded to make clearer images soon. I'm very photogenic.
From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sent: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 7:18 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question
I eschew Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and most "social media" because I am not ready to surrender my privacy to soulless corporations. As just one example, just about every major web page you visit has a web bug on it that tells Facebook you're visiting there - they can track you even if you're not a member, and I find that behavior outrageous. Right now, nobody will know if you simply read a post on DCHAS's web site or email list. If you go to one of these platforms, your every move is logged, tracked, analyzed, and used to profile you. I value my (relative) anonymity; other than posts to this list, I don't leave crumbs and tidbits on the Internet for marketers or worse (I had the pleasure of my own personal sociopath from years ago). Facebook's and others' hidden bugs are mapped in my computer's .hosts file so they don't phone home.
I agree that such platforms can be useful. But there's an old joke that ends "sir, we've already determined what your wife is, now we're just haggling over the price." And, sadly, very few people realize exactly what price they have paid by signing up for these services.
Call me paranoid, or buy me a tinfoil hat, but I can say with absolute certainty than any discussion group on one of those platforms won't have me as a member.
PS: DCHAS-L does have a digest version so you receive only one email per day that contains all of the day's posts. Send an email to Ralph if you want to sign up for that.
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I really enjoy contributing to this group. When registering for the ACS, I think I inadvertently picked it as one of my divisions. Even though I don't have a background in Chemical Safety, your questions have given me the opportunity to improve my reference and online search skills. There is a lot of wonderful information exchanged between group members, and I learn a lot. However, my inbox does fill up when there is a particularly popular topic. For this reason, I thought I would propose that perhaps the conversations might flow better by moving this group to a site such as LinkedIn. I in no way profit from proposing this, but I do participate on the site, and have had many good discussions about topics that are important to me. I could easily see this group prosper there.
For your consideration,
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