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What is happening?

Two things totally freaking me out:

Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?

Anger as a Private Company Takes Over Libraries

and…

U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet

Several privacy and technology advocates argued that requiring interception capabilities would create holes that would inevitably be exploited by hackers.

Steven M. Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor, pointed to an episode in Greece: In 2005, it was discovered that hackers had taken advantage of a legally mandated wiretap function to spy on top officials’ phones, including the prime minister’s.

“I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. “If they start building in all these back doors, they will be exploited.”

Two incredibly bad ideas, in my opinion.

As quoted in daring fireball:

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

Categories: Politics.

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3 Responses

  1. The satellite library that is within walking distance of my house is at risk of being closed if the tax cut bills pass this election. I would 100% rather that the library stays open and be run by a private company than see it close its doors. Ben and I hit that library at least 2-3 times a week, and we will hit story hour 2x a week (as soon as he is old enough to sit still and not interrupt the librarian). As long as the quality and services remain the same, do I really care if it’s government run vs. private?

    Codi9/27/2010 @ 3:52 pm
  2. But you’re still paying taxes to a government that is paying for someone else to run the library, but now, there is a company dedicated to maximizing profits running a service. So lets just say that this private company takes the $10 million contract to run your library figures out some way to save $2 million in the operations of that library. Are they A: going to give that money back to the government?B: spend $2 million more dollars on services?Or C: are they going to line the pockets of the investors of that company? At least your government services are nominally non-profit.

    I’d certainly agree that you should look at salaries, services, hours, whatever… I just don’t think that a some private company getting government contracts is going to be magically more efficient than the government itself.

  3. Regarding your first point, some would say we’re experiencing step 1:
    http://www.gregpalast.com/the-globalizer-who-came-in-from-the-cold/

    It’s been going on for a few years now with roads:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2…006/06/09/AR2006060901775.html

    Of course that money has a way of disappearing over time, so the ‘benefits’ of privatization don’t always end up reaching the masses:
    http://www.indy.com/posts/treasurer-defends-toll-road-investments

    Once ‘critical’ infrastructure is sold off, what’s left?

    Jeff9/28/2010 @ 9:32 am



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