Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Big Brother may be farther from home

In response to your Dec. 12 article "US may be setting a snare in document war": With the uproar of privacy issues related to the collection of private information on Americans by Internet companies, it should be no surprise that some of the companies that have the most data on Americans are foreign-owned. While this might not be illegal in the strictest terms, it is a concern.

Foreign-owned companies might have the capability to glean information from their database that might be useful to foreign intelligence operations.

For example, a company collecting insurance or driver's license data might be able to use that information to gain insight into the economic or medical history of an American citizen.

While the restrictions on defense-related companies are pretty tough, these restrictions need to be expanded to include all companies that collect or access confidential information on American citizens. These companies include vendors who collect information for states, prisons, state hospitals, social services, and veterans' hospitals.

In an era of international economic espionage and the need for homeland security, it is vital now more than ever that these records be restricted as much as possible. Mike Seigle Norcross, Ga.

Folk music teaches worldliness

I thoroughly enjoyed Kristin H. Macomber's Dec. 9 essay "So much for instilling my taste in music" (Home Forum). Bravo for shielding her children from "dumb-downed ... do-re-mi pablum and corny kiddie sing-alongs."

I applaud not only her fine taste in music, but also for passing along the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Yo-Yo Ma, John Coltrane, and Broadway to her sons.

But no Raffi? What harm could come from "Day-O," "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad," "This Little Light of Mine," or "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"? Amid the cacophony of crude commercial assaults on children, Raffi offers a calm voice. He doesn't pander. He isn't overproduced. He sings simply and lets the material speak for itself. …

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