Monday, March 9, 2015

There are Harsh Realities out There

Since late last year (well, since I read Jonas Jonasson's novels, really) I've paid a lot more attention to the news and what's been happening in the world and nationally. As a result, I see a lot of reactionary stuff.

There almost always has to be a ridiculous reaction to something. I don't mean a normal one, I mean a ridiculous one where people are chanting and taking the first negative thing they hear and covering everything in it. When I read about the new sex ed. policy the provincial government rolled out, there were crazy reactions and gatherings at the government building and people using the premier's sexuality as a reason for the 'sordid content' of the new policy. Some of the quotes I read were pretty diabolical and stupid.

The more current thing people seem divided over is the whole bill C-51 anti terrorism debate. One of my recent classmates is severely opposed to it. As far as I'm concerned personally, what some unknown public servant I will never meet thinks of me because of the e-mails I exchange or what I write on here is no care or interest of mine. It's another ridiculous reaction because some people seem to think the government is going to immediately go into your computer or tap your phone and listen in or watch 24/7. And if you say the first negative thing about anything, you'll get searched and arrested in half an hour. The windows will brighten up, see, and then a S.W.A.T. team will burst through them.

I think it's a good idea, at least to a point. As long as the government is examining suspected terrorists, and I mean suspected as they actually have suspects, not just anyone, fewer plots may be successful. If it stops a mall from being blown up, or an intersection, or whatever, great. It's when they decide that perhaps they should be looking for more than just terrorists, but any activity, anywhere.

I have no problem if they discover drug dealing or child pornography and act upon charging those responsible, but if someone happens to download something from YouTube or use a torrent, yeah, it's probably wrong, but eventually they end up coming off as hyper vigilant. I wouldn't want a reality where I'm worried about every possible thing I do online. What if I upload a picture I took of someone standing on a street, but McDonalds is in the background, and because the golden arches that show up in my picture are trademarked property, the government orders me to take it down and charges me for theft of a trademark? It's not the subject of the image, it just happened to be in the background, along with the Target logo with the 2% going-out-of-business discount sign under it.

This is probably the kind of argument those who are severely opposed to it make, along with the whole civil liberty argument. I agree with them in that scenario - except that I don't think it would ever go that far. Who is paying for someone to randomly examine twenty-something million connected computers in this country 24/7? There isn't enough public servants in this country to accomplish such a thing. Not enough people and not enough money to pay them.

There are those who believe Harper would eventually get more paranoid and enforce more hyper-vigilant policies with the law, and randomly examine anyone to see if they said he took an ugly picture in a recent press article, but I highly doubt he'd ever be in power long enough to go that far. There really are harsh realities out there. If this law means the government will have the power to look into anyone's computer - though it won't be anyone's, they don't have the resources to do that - and if it means that it stops people from dying just because they went to the store, let them. You aren't losing your entire civil liberty as soon as it receives royal assent. Unless you've posted videos proclaiming in mediocre Arabic that the world is ending soon and the only way to live life to the fullest is to go join ISIS/ISIL (whatever they're called).

Red Cloud
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