Orwell’s Volunteers

wrapped boxI have privacy. I am a large box wrapped in bright paper tied with string. To open the box, you must pull the string. But if we fail to provide authentic privacy, we wrap ourselves in nothing, not even brown paper, and no string.

We may not have privacy for long.

If we want to keep our jobs, we might all become accustomed to living without privacy as Homeland Security rules change our culture.

For example, NASA employees are concerned that new security requirements are demanding so much transparency, folks will be packaged in glass.

According to this article about a JPL professional, she must “either sign over to the Federal Government the right to investigate every aspect of her life or she can “voluntarily” choose to not be allowed entry into the building wherein she works.”

A new Presidential Directive is demanding a privacy waiver from employees which will authorize fingerprinting, credit checks, financial history, bill paying and spending habits, marriage and court records, medical and mental health records, character references, family and sibling disclosure, and not the least, authorizes investigating adverse comments from peer and neighbor interviews, with any of these investigations to be carried out by third-party contractors.

“Executive Order 10450 requires National Agency Checks with Written Inquiries…” where ALL federal employees, as well as contractors, students, interns, etc. associated with the government must sign the waiver or voluntarily not show up for work. “Form 85” says you agree to give up the information or you will be ‘voluntarily resigned’.

A number of scientists and staff have joined a lawsuit to be heard this week.

One employee struggled to retain her unemployment benefits when she stood to her principles by not submitting her signed waiver. I suppose glass packages can break.