Mt. Vernon Register-News

Top News

December 23, 2013

Americans uneasy about surveillance but often use snooping tools

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Bob Moses, 50, an information technology worker for the AFL-CIO, said he would like more anonymity when he shops online, but he understands that Google and others offer their services without charge and need a way to make money.

"For that, I give up some of my rights," Moses said. "It's a trade-off I accept, at least right now." He's similarly sanguine about the government's tracking. "It's not the details that the NSA is harvesting, but it's the relationships," he said. "If you've got something to hide, then you ought to be worried about it."

Moses appreciates technology's capacity to keep his family safe. When his children were younger, he demanded to be their friends on Facebook so he could monitor their activity. He recently helped a colleague buy a "granny-cam" for the home of her elderly mother, who struggles with dementia. And he used an AT&T service called "FamilyMap" to track the movements of his children, ages 17 and 22 — stopping with his older child only when she moved out of the house.

"It's peace of mind," Moses said. "It's the 21st-century family."

Most Americans seem to have made their peace with video surveillance cameras, which are now widely used by governments and businesses, especially in densely populated areas. In The Washington Post's poll, more than four out of five Americans were comfortable with the number of cameras in use or even would favor having more installed. Only 14 percent would like to see fewer cameras.

But about half of Americans wanted limits on how long police may keep location data on citizens. Such data are collected by advanced video surveillance systems, license-plate readers and other technologies.

Text Only
Top News
  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Pathologist: Brown may have had his hands raised

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — An unarmed 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by police has sparked a week of protests in suburban St. Louis suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned, a pathologist hired by his family said Monday.

    August 18, 2014

  • Police identify officer, allege teen robbed store

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed.

    August 15, 2014

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • congressionaldemographics.jpg Most Republican House districts are majority-white

    Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • unrest.jpg Why the Ferguson police-shooting riots had little to do with Ferguson

    Riots and vandalism broke out in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. An 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was fatally shot by police there. Brown was unarmed. It's still unclear why tensions boiled over.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014

  • Walmart.jpg Welcome to Wal-Mart, the doctor will see you now

    As its retail business matures into slower growth, Wal-Mart Stores wants to disrupt another mass market: health care.

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • California drought.jpg Tattletales turn to Twitter to shame water wasters

    California's record drought has unleashed a flood of social-media tattletales. Vigilantes armed with cameraphones prowl neighborhoods from San Diego to San Francisco documenting sprinklers running freely, runoff flowing from saturated lawns and other water-wasters.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo