The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

July 16, 2013

Jim Bailey: Big Brother is watching, but what does he see?

It became the subject of a TV series, “Person of Interest.” Using ubiquitous surveillance cameras, the government authorized the creation of a supercomputer that could predict the likelihood of terrorist acts. But the computer (fictitious, of course – or is it?) turned out to be able to predict ordinary crimes as well. The government wasn’t interested, so its inventor set out on his own to make use of that feature.

George Orwell’s Big Brother in the novel “1984” spied on every aspect of life in a future world. Now, with a plethora of investigations of government snooping in progress, people are wondering if Big Brother has finally arrived on the scene.

The probes center mainly on phone records, e-mails and such in an ostensible attempt to ferret out potential terrorists before they can do damage to the homeland. Critics, on the other hand, wonder if the overreach isn’t trampling on the right to privacy, which isn’t mentioned in the Constitution but has been alluded to in quite a few judicial fiats.

Under investigation is a computer bank that supposedly contains information on all calls made in the Verizon wireless system. It has spawned talk of government listening in on everyone’s private conversations. Well, not exactly. The information collected includes calls made, their destinations and duration, and if further action is necessary to find out the content of anything suspicious.

My wireless phone is not Verizon. But if similar databases covered other wireless carriers and land phones as well, I’m still wondering what all the fuss is about.

First of all, my phone records likely would never trigger an investigation. I don’t think I, or my wife either, have made a single international call either by land or by air. Our wireless phone is used mostly for long distance calling, primarily to our kids, or while traveling or for emergencies. The government could probably store our wireless phone records in a thimble. And the most suspicious activity on our land phone would be international calls from telemarketers with thick accents (is the government at all interested in enforcing the do-not-call lists?).

Text Only
Community
  • FEA - HB0728 - Fresh Orientation - SH Elwood freshmen learn the ways of high school through mentoring program About half the 112 incoming freshmen at Elwood Jr./Sr. High School got a jump on their friends recently by attending a freshman orientation session. Joan Mercer, an English teacher who helped organize the the orientation, said the mentor program, which has been in place for several years, has been effective in new students make the high school transition.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA-HB0727-MCWinery-JC6.JPG Having a wine time

    Cathy Hensley’s never been much of a drinker. It wasn’t something that interested her very much, so it seemed unfathomable that she would ever run a winery. But after her son Eric offered her and her husband, Duke, some wine he made, it changed things.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lanane among LifeStream honorees Dr. Jon Hendrix and Katie Lucas, both of Muncie; Janet Privett, Montezuma, Ohio, and Sen. Tim Lanane (D), Anderson, will be honored during a reception Aug. 7 in Muncie for their work in making a difference in the lives of aging adults and people with disabilities.

    July 26, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 27 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 26, 2014

  • FEA HB0727 Homes 0113 Storage solution The key to creating a beautiful home on a budget is to look beyond the intended purpose of an item, and beyond its appearance. Instead, check for sturdiness of the frame, and the functionality of the components.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • What's Where: July 27-Aug. 2 Local meetings and activities are scheduled this week.

    July 26, 2014

  • Help available locally to navigate health care options If you feel like you’re drowning in the shifting sea of health care options, don’t panic: SHIP, a local Navigator and Life Stream are ready to help.

    July 26, 2014

  • FEA HB0727 Camp Chesterfield Spiritualists' home Camp Chesterfield is one of 10 spiritualist camps in the United States, and the only one of its kind in Indiana. Founded in the late 1800s, It's home to the Indiana Association of Spiritualists and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: July 27 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin