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Government Information Awareness 211

gbjbaanb writes "Wired News is reporting about the GIA, software inspired by the TIA program. 'Researchers at the MIT Media Lab unveiled the Government Information Awareness, or GIA, website Friday. Using applications developed at the Media Lab, GIA collects and collates information about government programs, plans and politicians from the general public and numerous online sources. Currently the database contains information on more than 3,000 public figures. The premise of GIA is that if the government has a right to know personal details about citizens, then citizens have a right to similar information about the government.'"
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Government Information Awareness

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  • Re:1984? (Score:3, Funny)

    by I don't want to spen ( 638810 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:23PM (#6368906) Journal
    ... It's 1984 in reverse ...

    You mean 4891?

  • At first, I thought sure, this'll work, those politicians are too smart to get caught doing their shady stuff out in the open.

    Then I realized NO THEY AREN'T.

    So, this should be fun. Wonder how long before this site quietly goes away.

    Just remember folks, this is the government you are talking about. If they want, they can make you disapp... /NO CARRIER
  • Potential (Score:5, Funny)

    by Proaxiom ( 544639 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:33PM (#6368962)
    SELECT name FROM FederalPoliticians WHERE name.bimbo<>name.wife
  • Hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by jeffkjo1 ( 663413 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:33PM (#6368964) Homepage
    This project has scant little information on the various politicians I searched for. John Ashcroft's entry [] merely has his position, and who appointed him to it. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but.... CONSPIRACY!

    In all seriousness though, this actually seems like a good thing, but it needs more meat to fill up the information pages.
  • by Two99Point80 ( 542678 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:40PM (#6368996) Homepage
    Looks like the fact-checking needs a little work, as shown here []...
  • by Dr Reducto ( 665121 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:55PM (#6369056) Journal
    Even worse, theyre probably the same neighbors who show no respect for the flag. To them it is just a symbol of blind conformity. I see that so many peopl who just started being patriotic after 9/11 do such un-patriotic things like:

    1. Leave their flag out at night(without a light).
    2. Leave their flag out during rainy weather and storms.
    3. Don't properly dispose of flags that prematurely age because the above abuses.
  • Model (Score:3, Funny)

    by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @04:57PM (#6369063)
    If you read about the data collection method [] it seems that they are creating a database that is a cross between what you could find on google and information submitted by anyone ala IndyMedia.

    Hopefully it results in solid information and not this [] type [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:08PM (#6369101)
    In A.D. 2003, war was beginning.

    GWB: What happen?

    JA: Somebody set up us a website.

    GWB: We get e-mail.

    JA: Outlook Express turn on.

    MIT: How are you gentlemen?

    MIT: All your information are belong to us.

    GWB: What you say?

    MIT: You are on the way to major scandals.

    MIT: You have no chance to deny cocaine use allegations, make your time.

    GWB: For great justice, take off every DDoS attack!

  • Re:1984? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Shackleford ( 623553 ) on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:20PM (#6369142) Journal
    Did George Orwell ever imagine a world where the populace itself would become the Big Brother of the government? It's 1984 in reverse.

    I wouldn't go that far. It only seems to be there to allow people to have fairly easy access to information that they can already get from other sources. They'd just need to try harder to get it from those other sources. From the article: GIA allows people to explore data, track events, find patterns and build profiles related to specific government officials or political issues. Information about campaign finance, corporate ties and even religion and schooling can be accessed easily. Real-time alerts can be generated when news of interest is breaking.

    So calling it "1984 in reverse" would be too much of an exaggeration. If it actually, were 1984 in reverse, then wouldn't that be funny? Seeing politicians on telescreens, commanding them to do whatever you want to tell them to do.

    "Bush! Number 437859! I don't see you touching your toes!" We could've gotten Clinton into shape that way. And I suppose I could make a joke about how Clinton's telescreen would've sometimes been a pornographic broadcast.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @05:45PM (#6369264)
    I notice there's nothing at that link about wiping your arse with the flag. That's a relief.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2003 @10:13PM (#6370430)
    Only terrorists would attempt to discover information regarding their elected officials. You have been warned.
  • by kaltkalt ( 620110 ) on Saturday July 05, 2003 @03:06AM (#6371312)
    sure, but when you have to justify your evil actions to the plebeians, you do so by saying "i'm doing this to protect your children" or something stupid like that (protecting precious children being the epitome of preserving law and order). If you are open about supressing freedom in the name of evil, you won't be very successful. You need to lie about your motives, no matter how you feel deep down inside your black, cold heart (trust me on this). Didn't you take Promulgating Evil 101?

    "I'm going to assrape you in the name of evil" won't get you very far, but "In the name of law and order, and to protect our precious children, I am going to assrape you" will enable you to freely rape assholes all day long (regardless of what your inner motives may be).
  • by Syre ( 234917 ) on Saturday July 05, 2003 @05:43AM (#6371625)
    This is what I've never understood.

    I was always taught that if a flag was soiled it had to be disposed of by burning.

    In fact, in 176. Respect for flag, it states:

    (k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

    So how is it that people were put in jail for buring flags?

    Well, that's because of 700. Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties

    (a)(1) Whoever knowingly mutilates, defaces, physically defiles, burns, maintains on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

    Hmm... so if I want to respect the flag, I should dispose of it "preferably by burning" it, but if I burn it I desecrate it, and get put in jail for a year.

    Makes sense to me!

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982