Here is the letter I wrote to Congressman Bilirakis regarding his “No” Vote to the Amash Amendment: Feel free to do the same to your Florida Reps:
Thank you for the recent update you provided via email. I completely agree with your stance on those issues.
However; I am baffled as to how you can articulate the exact reasons as to why placing that kind of power in the hands of this administration is a terrible idea; yet, still vote no on the Amash Amendment.
In fact, Most reps in Florida voted No.
I am confounded as to how anyone could shoot down this amendment as it clearly violates the 4th amendment of the constitution. .
Maybe it’s because you were sold on the “It’s only Metadata” argument? Please understand that the analogy of Metadata being akin to addresses on an envelope is unequivocally inaccurate as it applies towards modern technology.
Or, Maybe it’s because you don’t respect the US Constitution?
I don’t think it’s the latter reason, so please, as someone who works for a major silicone valley tech company, whose been working with Metadata for over 10 years, and who currently works with Web analytics for the Omniture BU of Adobe systems…allow me explain to you what Metadata is as it relates to today’s technology, and how it conflicts with the 4th amendment.
I sincerely hope you take the time to read this and share this information with your colleagues in the house.
Most Americans may overlook this: but it’s not just Metadata the NSA is collecting.. It’s MY Data.
As defined by the dictionary, Metadata is a set of data that describes other data. For example, in my company, when you upload a file to a system, you know who uploaded it, when it was uploaded, what type of document it is, who last modified it, what time it was modified, who last accessed the file, when it was last accessed, etc…
So when we look at this program with that in mind; they’re saying they’re just collecting Metadata… let’s take an honest look at the facts: First of all; they’re collecting your phone number. That’s your Unique Identifier or (UID) which is akin to a Primary key in a database. They’re collecting the phone number your calling, the location of where you’re calling, and the duration of the call.
Some people may say; what’s the big deal about that? Well, lets look at me for example. If you collected my data, what would you learn about me? If you look at my phone number, you would know that it’s a 727 area code and that I’ve made most of my calls from a specific spot in Utah until October when that location changed to Palm Harbor Florida. You would also know that I call a specific phone number often that was a 727 area code also in the same location of Utah until October when that other number’s location changed to Palm Harbor Florida. So, you can safely assume that the person at the other number either lives with me or is my wife or girlfriend.
You also know that this other person creates metadata on her phone from 12pm to 2am, where as I create metadata on my phone from 9am to 6pm. So right there you know our work schedules.
Also, like alot of other people, I talk on the phone while I’m driving (through blue tooth of course so I can concentrate on the road). So at 8:30 am every morning, I drive to Starbucks… You can tell because I’m on the phone when I’m driving there. Every 15th and 30th of every Month at 4pm, I go to the Bank. You can tell because I’m on the phone when I’m driving there. On the 2nd of Each month, I drive 60 miles to a doctor. The NSA also knows that Doctor calls me the day before to confirm my appointment. And now that the NSA has the doctors phone number, you can tell what type of doctor he is, and what type of medicine he practices.
So, we’re being asked to believe: “This is just metadata, don’t worry about it, your name isn’t attached to it and we’re not recording content.”
Let me ask you this Congressman: What’s more intimate?
Knowing my name, or knowing where I bank?
Knowing my name, or knowing my personal medical history?
Knowing my name, or knowing what time my girlfriend goes to bed?
For all of the reasons you’re against the IRS targeting and the Invasion of privacy that would go along with Obama Care, The NSA is already doing that because of this previously secret program.
Now that they have this information, They can build a profile on all innocent Americans. How is that NOT a violation of the 4th amendment? If they are placing our profile in a computer system that monitors for any deviation in our patterns, or for any risky behavior…. That means that all Innocent Americans are now under computer surveillance 24 hours a day, 7days a week, and you know the rest.
Another thing to keep in mind. As your profile continues to grow, as more and more and more metadata is collected, combined with the unlimited storage space of the US government, combined with the new NSA Building being built right across from where I used to live and work, in Bluffdale Utah; these computer models will be be able to predict what every American is going to do next, even before we know what we’re going to do next. After all, we’re creatures of habit.
So, just because the NSA isn’t monitoring the Content of our phone conversations, doesn’t mean that they’re not violating our privacy.
With all due respect Congressman Bilirakis, It’s not MetaData, it’s My Data.
As more and more people begin to understand this; your no vote on the Amash amendment will look poorly during your re-election campaign, and you may have some competition next cycle. I would urge you to please change your stance on this topic for the same reasons and good intentions as to why you oppose Obama care and the IRS targeting.