@Dr Paul Taylor -- Re: common sense
Clearly, you've little or no idea about how moving from paper-based to digital/electronics records completely changes the data/storage paradigm (this is not only my idea but also of those more eminently qualified in the subject than me).
If you want a clue as to where to begin I'll provide an example that illustrates just a few of the issues:
Say I want to steal your paper-based personnel/medical records from a locked filing cabinet within some institution's records department. What do I have to do to achieve my goal? Now reconsider the same problem but this time your records are locked away digitally on a file server.
- Consider where I'd have to be physically located, the risks I'd have to take and the time it would take me to steal just one physical paper-based record.
- Now consider how long it would take and the effort involved in stealing a million of them.
- Now recalculate the results when the records are all digital and located on one file server.
- Now repeat the exercise again, this time by attempting to steal secrets from very secure locations/sites such as NASA, the War Office, the Pentagon etc.
It's a no-brainer to figure the difference, I'll give you another clue. Think of how many times in the news in recent years you've heard of break-ins of organisations where a million secret physical paper-based records were stolen. What's your guess? Zero perhaps? ...And how many times with digital records eh? Once, twice, ten times a week or more?
We've compulsory voting here in Australia and still very many people don't vote even with normal monitoring and fines, so much so that Government is considering using its surveillance powers to compulsorily make authorities search through driving licence, rates, bank and other records then automatically enroll the dodgers whether they like it or not. If all records were paper-based, as they were only a few years ago, then government wouldn't even consider the possibility, it be just too much trouble.
Sure, it's not impossible to scout a nation's worth of paper-based records and effectively have almost 100% compliance as Nazi Germany proved with great expense and effort in the 1930s and 40s. However, in a modern Western democracy it would--or ought to be--very difficult indeed for a government to do so.
Since 9/11, we've seen many instance of where the words 'government' and 'Orwellian' easily coexist in the same sentence. Many people consider such issues very important and view these trends with considerable concern.
P.S.: enforcement/compliance of the compulsory lodging of physical books versus same for digital data invokes a very different methodology in each case, in the latter widespread data mining would be required. Not only will an analysis of this data almost certainly reveal new information not originally sought after by government but it has no mandate to use or even view it. But only a fool would think it extremely unlikely that the lack of a mandate would stop government from doing so.
Methinks, your response is not only daft but also somewhat woolly.