big brother surveillance social credit gun control
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Welcome to the brave new world of social media and other online activity monitoring in the name of preventing the next El Paso or Dayton. Texas Senator John Cornyn’s new RESPONSE bill would have schools keep an eye on what their students are doing and saying online. Other bills such as the bipartisan-supported TAPS Act would create a new federal bureaucracy to develop “threat assessments” on individuals similar to China’s social credit system.

Combine those efforts with the proliferation of red flag laws and soon police departments won’t have enough officers to carry out all of the resulting confiscation orders.

[A]dvocates have raised red flags over the Response Act’s requirement that schools begin monitoring their computer networks to “detect [the] online activities of minors who are at risk of committing self-harm or extreme violence against others.”

Under Cornyn’s legislation, nearly all federally funded schools in the U.S. would be required to install software to surveil students’ online activities, potentially including their emails and searches, in order to flag “violent” or alarming content.

The proposal would significantly expand the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), a 2000 law that is mostly interpreted today as blocking children from looking up pornography on school computers.

Privacy experts and education groups, many of which have resisted similar efforts at the state level, say that level of social media and network surveillance can discourage children from speaking their minds online and could disproportionately result in punishment against children of color, who already face higher rates of punishment in school.

“This is all very frightening,” an education policy consultant, who has been tracking the legislation, told The Hill. “There’s no real research, or even anecdotal information, to back up the idea … that following everything [kids] do online is really a way to determine that they’re going to be violent.”

– Emily Birnbaum in Advocates warn kids’ privacy at risk in GOP gun violence bill

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  1. I remember telling my cousin about the TAPS bill. At first he was all for it. Then he figured out that everybody (including him) would be watched.

    • I am thankful that several years ago I acquired a Cryptographic scrambler program that to this day the Government has not been able to penetrate and for which they have tried to force the programmer to provide them with a back door Key, and which he has told them there isn’t one, each user has their own key which changes each time they enter it. I have also installed it on both of my Grand daughters Tablets, and Laptop systems. Let them try finding out what they post because they only communicate with others, and can scramble what shows up on their own systems as well. Lots of luck you dimwitted Globalist idiots.

  2. What concerns me more about this is not what may be discovered, it’s the motivations of those ‘sifting’ through the data.

    The chance it may be ‘weaponized’ against a political opponent makes this unacceptable…

    • Forget weaponization for political purposes (well, don’t forget… it’s a legit concern). I remember some of the silly nonsense I said and did when I was a kid. Stuff I became ashamed of and embarrassed about almost immediately after I did it. Stuff that seemed funny at the time but wasn’t (or maybe it actually was, but only if you were on the “inside” of whatever edgy joke was making the rounds).

      Back then, stuff like that remained private or between friends or was handled by sensible adults who could teach you to grow the heck up. It’s terrifying to think that childish acting out might now be used to stifle expression, suppress creativity, and even deprive a kid of his/her rights, all because some tiny fraction of kids are seriously messed up.

      Preventing mass violence in schools is extremely important. This is also a free country, protected by the first, second, and all other amendments. I don’t see those two statements as incompatible at all, but I do think that if we ignore the second one to focus exclusively on the first, we do so at our great peril.

      • Napresto,

        In middle school and my first two years of high school, I said and wrote (in one or more school yearbooks) content that I thought was funny or edgy at the time and did not regret at that time. Looking back with maturity now, I am embarrassed at what I said/wrote and I am really glad that there is no public record of it.

        Young people are still finding their way in the world. It serves no good to keep a permanent public record of young people’s statements. And it will damage society if we send out police to arrest every young person who says or writes something that is “questionable”.

        • Agree completely. This idea that everyone must be spied upon to ensure that they do nothing bad is not new, but it is as abhorrent now as it ever was. Becoming a gun owner (maybe 10-12 years ago) was a real eye opener for me. It quickly showed me how few people are genuinely interested in taking responsibility for themselves vs. imposing restrictions on others so as to avoid doing so.

          The best way to preserve liberty, freedom of expression, and safety in schools is to arm teachers. Full stop. Everything else is either a half-measure, or a violation of somebody’s rights.

      • Which is why parents need to keep their kids off the internet! Once you have posted something, it is there forever and will not go away. Children often say and do things that are regrettable later in life. But are overlooked because they were children and that is in the past. But if it can be searched up on the internet someplace or on the NSA Database of EVERYTHING years down the road, well those childish communications are there for schools, law enforcement employers and others to see and use against one.

        Keep your kids off the internet!

        • Best advice ever! Social media is a cancer eating away at our society. A quick review of posts made on a variety of sites reveal what beasts people can become.

        • I don’t think the full implications of the internet have been thought out. Imagine being a kid today whose parents post photos of him all over the internet without any consent. By the time they are 18 they have a never ending internet presence. Not to mention how bullying could be for kids

        • My advice has always been: “Never communicate via any electronic means that which you would not want to show up in court.”
          I should add “or at your Supreme Court confirmation hearings.” LoL

  3. So set aside the 2 nd. amendment for a moment,both of these bills would be a violation of Americans 4 th. amendment rights.
    These bills should have never seen paper,Ah just NO to both.

  4. Cornyn scares me. I was hoping the Mitch ass kisser would be challenged by a real conservative next year.

    • Correct as Cornholeyn is a RINO’s RINO,unfortunate that a genuine conservative can’t be found to run against him.

  5. All a Bunch of Demo-Commie, and GOP Globalist Authoritarians! This is an attempted takeover by Big Government to install the New World 🌎 Order/ One-World Global Governance! This is ALL designed to prevent the citizenry from organizing and starting a Rebellion! Designed to circumvent the US Constitution/Bill of Rights! To nullify the Amendments that pertain to the PEOPLE! IT’S all Horse 🐎$!#T 💩💩💩💩! Fight the Future!

  6. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with governments keeping track of things said online in open, public forums. Just the same as I have no problem with anyone, including governments, for profit, and non-profit organizations, keeping track what I and other people put on open social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook. That’s not really different than writing down what people say in a physical public forum, and we’ve been doing that for thousands of years.
    You put it out there, expect it to be out there. Yes, that goes for kids. They have to learn that making an ass of yourself in public has long-term consequences, just as adults need to recognize that a child’s immaturity is a mitigating factor in those consequences.
    When the government has access to, much less surveils and records, intentionally private group or person-to-person contact information (meta-data) and the messages’ content, then we have a serious issue and a violation of the law.

    • You are correct to note that there can be no expectation of privacy for public postings.

      The issue isn’t whether the G has a right to know what people put out there for all to see. The issue is what the G does with the info. Hint — the G can’t help itself. It cannot and should not be trusted. The info will be abused.

      • Exactly. The government seeing what’s already public isn’t a problem. The problem lies in what they’ll inevitably DO if they’re ever allowed to act on it.

    • “…and searches, in order to flag “violent” or alarming content.”

      The “alarming content” is what bothers me most. When we have schools punishing students for posting pictures of themselves holding firearms while hunting or at ranges and competitions. No violence or threats implied, yet schools use that information to attack these law-abiding students. This law just encourages these gestapo-like school administrators.

  7. C’mon, everybody. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a government to raise a society. Things are just too complex and to compact to allow individuals to just do whatever they like, whenever they like. As population grows, so do the “crazies”. As population grows, so do the insane, violent reactions to everyday life. Freedom of the individual is tyranny over the whole, the village. We’ve had our experiment in self-governance. It worked for awhile, in circumstances so different and distant from what we face now. Remember, “see something, say something”? Well, that is too chaotic and random. We need monitoring, 24/7 everywhere people are, even the bathrooms. (OK, that bathroom thing will upset the LGTBwxyz, so maybe a pass on that). Can’t you see that in order for the hive to prosper and survive we must be assimilated (except for illegals)?

    See something, say something
    Viva Che
    Workers of the world unite
    Freedom is slavery
    Pacifism is aggression (I just made that one up)
    No child left with a behind

    • “See something, say something”
      Well hell yes. If you think somebody is going to do a crime, maybe a violent crime, you are going to ignore it? Me, I’ll drop a dime on a P.O.S. criminal in the blink of an eye. Or a suicidal person, which I have done one time and he was taken in for evaluation. This also protected the woman he’d been holding against her will. Long story filled with family drama, but she lived and we don’t know what became of that crazy bastard.

      “It takes a village”
      Well yeah it kinda’ does. Kids need to learn to interact with each other. They need to play and to be with other kids to play with. They need to learn there are consequences for not doing your homework, for bullying other kids too, for spending too much time with their faces staring at a computer screen and in this technological world of now, consequences for spending too little time doing that too. They need grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins. They need to see mom and dad having friends in the neighborhood. All this sort of thing has degraded, eroded down and the loss is the children’s loss.

      “Viva Che”
      Che was a murderous blood thirsty thug, even Castro, himself a murderous blood thirsty thug told Che to knock it off with the killing already. But then Che was typical of the common end result when people read Marx and come away thinking they can change the world if only their revolutionary zeal can be nurtured. The natural consequence is ALWAYS the same, the utopian dream is bullshit and in come the brutals to force everyone to be a good Party Member, a good Revolutionary of the Proletariat. Che Guevara died writhing in agony as a Bolivian soldier added nine shots from an M1 Carbine to the two wounds he already had. The soldier has been drinking, but volunteered when the order came in to execute Che. As three of the soldier’s friends had been killed in a battle with Che’s band, it was revenge killing as much as an execution. The point was to make it look like Che dies in battle, not murdered in a tent. So in the end, despite being drunk, the soldier did a good job of it. Adding a bunch of non-fatal wounds before finishing him off. Fuck Che and the evil philosophy he rode in on.

      “Workers of the world unite”
      The Marxists screwed this one up horribly with their revolutionary crap. Aside from that, I’ve a few objections to labor unions. Mostly about organized crime and striking at the worst possible time for the worst possible reasons. But people have the natural right to form groups for their mutual benefit. Be they profit making corporations or workers trying to get a better deal and decent treatment.

      • Another issue with unions; I venture to guess that 99% of unions (not necessarily the individual members) are dedicated supporters of the political left and all donate vast sums of money to democrat campaigns. I know a lot of union members who hate their unions and object to their dues being used to support the left.

        They have no choice about being in a union if they want to keep their jobs.

        • I agree no forced membership.

          When I was a teenager I got a job at a supermarket. Bagging, mopping, carry-outs to customer’s cars, stocking, fetching carts in the parking lot. My first day there the union rep came to see me, being a new hire. Said once I was off probation plus six months I would have to join to keep the job. Told me what the dues were. I said it didn’t sound so bad for a year. He laughed and said “Kid, that’s per month!”

          But unions and corporations in politics bug the hell out of me. Neither of them should have a hand in politics. No union or corporate campaign donations, no lobbying, no candidate endorsements. I’d ban all that Big Dollar influence if I could and from all sides.

          As much as I hate and despise political parties, the Big Money in our politics is a much greater malfunction.

          • “Except “raze” is a word. And cleverly used in the poster’s comment!”

            Yeah !?!

            Well “raze” is a made-up word, like all words, so what’s its value anyway. You say potato and I say pah-tahto.

      • Merle 0 says:
        “It takes a government to Raze a society.”

        This may be true but let us also not forget …

        “It takes a Viking to raze a village”

      • “No child left with a behind”
        “LoL, spanking returns!”

        Glad you noticed. It was designed as the last indicator of ridicule in the comment.

  8. This is going to sound crazy, but has any thought been given to extra terrestrial influence behind trying everything to disarm the public? Even if our weapons were obsolete, they might be capable of making conquering earth too costly. Quantity over quality.

    • Personally, I am preparing for the ALIEN VAMPIRE ZOMBIE VIRUS APOCALYPSE … I’ve even got 40 round PMAGS stocked up and ready to go!

      • “I’ve even got 40 round PMAGS stocked up and ready to go!”
        won’t kill a werewolf or vampire. Your plan (I started to say “sucks”, but that would make you either a zombie or a vampire, or a flesh-eating bacteria.) lacks sufficient data.

        • Not to worry. I’ve all the instructional videos going back to Lon Chaney Jr and the newer works by Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale. UV bullets and silver nitrate too, I’m all over this shit.

          It was either this or save for retirement, had to make a value judgement.

    • Sam, you’re probably just trolling, but if not, I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had on the topic of first contact. Now I think that its certainly possible the earth has been visited by aliens. The footage the navy released from the USS Nimitz incident is pretty compelling. But we can’t say that with 100% certainty right now. And really, if that has happened, you think an alien race light years beyond us in advancement would need to secretly infiltrate earth governments to disarm it, to conquer it? Let’s really think about this logically. If aliens arrived here with the intent to conquer, their very first goal would be to mitigate our nuclear arsenal. Hands down. Nukes would likely be our only real chance at fighting such a race, and we could hold the planet hostage with them as well. The science fiction movies routinely show alien invaders easily repulsing nuclear blasts, but in reality I’m confident that can’t be done. At least not the way it’s commonly shown. I don’t have any official nuclear credentials but when I was younger during the Cold War, I read and studied up on nuclear weapons a great deal. I’ve got a fairly good idea how they work, and I really don’t see any kind of forcefield in our knowledge of physics, that could repel a nuclear blast.

      • As both a technical staff member, and public affairs officer in Air Force Space Command, I had an episode or two regarding UFOs. Looking at the Blue Book, and the reports we received while I was on duty, one thing struck me as very curious: somehow alien visitors (UFOs) made themselves visible inside the atmosphere, but we never detected them in transit, through the void of actual space, or disturbing the stratosphere upon entry.

          • “That’s interesting to note.”

            My technical position required monitoring positions of objects orbiting the earth (back in the day, the US Space Command operated the UN Orbital Catalog, tracking everything larger than a glove lost from the space suit of an astronaut). Our tasking also included monitoring every missile launch capable of putting objects into space, or missiles capable of reaching North America. By today’s standards, much of our monitoring equipment was crude. However, we had no difficulty observing objects impacting the stratosphere, generating a detectable heat image.

        • @Sam, that makes me wonder how many astronauts in space would be taking off a glove in the first place.

          • “@Sam, that makes me wonder how many astronauts in space would be taking off a glove in the first place.”

            Reportedly, the glove was left floating in the capsule, and “escaped” when the hatch was opened prior to a space walk. A different source said it was an analogy, something people could relate to. There is much junk in orbit (thanks China), and giving the public a reference point to space material they have never seen wouldn’t transmit the magnitude of how sensitive the ground tracking is.

          • Ah, yes; the glove. We sorta had the story right (glove floated out of the hatch, not off the hand while the astronaut was outdoors).

            Neat link. Thanks for sending !

            One day, maybe I should talk about the re-entry of SkyLab.

      • ” I think that its certainly possible the earth has been visited by aliens ”

        I’m kinda thinking that an alien visiting earth would sort of be like Jeff Bezos taking his vacation in Haiti. Just sayin’.

  9. This kind of thing WILL be abused and, in fact, already has been.

    Back in the dark ages of 1999 my best friend at the time was suspended from school for a week because he said something mean about another student online via a personal webpage owned by the “victim”.

    There was no threat or anything like that, just snark, and the comment was not created using school property or school connectivity. Nor was the page created using such. Neither the parents of the “victim” nor the victim himself complained to the school. But, once a third party student used the school’s connection to access the page it became “a school matter”.

    This is back when Alta Vista was still a thing, the UPS IPO hadn’t happened, the Microsoft anti-trust case was not yet major news etc.

    Today this will be far, far worse.

  10. We better figure out the problems and how to make this work. Because every time some obvious nut job’s social media comes out to show he was publicly talking about mass murder, and was ignored our side gets attacked by hoplophobes who think the gun was the responsible party.

    Either we figure out how to prevent mass killings or we lose our gun rights slow and steady by the end of this century if not sooner.

    • “Either we figure out how to prevent mass killings or we lose our gun rights slow and steady by the end of this century if not sooner.”

      Cars kill tens of *thousands* annually, and people just accept the loss of life. No biggie. We can cut the death rate in *half* with common-sense motor transport reform, just by cutting the national speed limit to 35 MPH, strictly enforced, and by mandating you blow in a tube to start the vehicle (alcohol detector). The technology exists.

      It’s more important for their selfish selves to get where they are going a few min. quicker than to save thousands of lives yearly. For a *privilege*, not a civil right.

      Throw that in their faces and watch ’em squirm…

    • You make an *excellent* point, actually. Selfish Americans in their hurry to be somewhere kill thousands yearly on the highways and byways of this great land.

      Stop the madness! No faster than 35 mph!

      Think of the CHILDREN’S LIVES!

    • “…we sure as hell don’t need any more enemies”
      “…we sure as hell don’t need any more enemas”

  11. What is wrong with some of these nuts!! Starting to really sound like THX1138, a movie that makes 1984 seem like freedom rally. If you don’t know it check out the book and movie. The long train of abuses mentioned in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence doesn’t specify if it means time or the length of the list. The left is making a supreme effort at lengthing it.

  12. i wonder if we can use social media monitoring to predict how people might vote and then take action to prevent it. Now that would be every politician’s wet dream.

    Scratch a politician, find a little tin god with delusions of adequacy.

    • Been there and done that. Google does it with how searches come out. Facebook does it with how they control postings. Youtube does it with what they allow/don’t allow and what get monetized or not.

      Plenty of results searching on the web, use DuckDuckGo to search.

    • Ralph:
      Your closing sentence has a certain charm, a certain ring to it, striking me as a beautiful expression.

  13. Regarding the above referenced proposals or schemes, I’m given to wonder as to exactly whose WET DREAMS of a bureaucratic wonderland are being addressed here?

  14. I find this article quite ironic, in a way, considering that the Millennial generation before them want to stifle and get rid of the First Amendment-especially speech they find “offensive”, or speech they disagree with. They want to go so far as to jail and punish those who engage in “hate speech”. So why not take everyone’s rights away by being a Big Brother hall monitor, albeit, on-line? For such people who think this way, it is the next, logical step. They can take away both Constitutional rights in one shot: The First and Second Amendment. I am just surprised that people are actually pushing back.

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