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Big Brother? Big Mistake?
March 05, 2012


I received an anonymous letter in the mail.

It contains three news clippings.

One refers to Julian Assange and contains his assertion that Facebook is the “most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented.”

The second clipping is a column about the collection of tolls on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey.

But this column notes that technology is such that there are readers that can scan your license plate and match it to your bank account. The toll is taken automatically without even asking you.

OK, you begin to see a Big Brother theme here.

But then the third clipping is about the Internet Bitcoin currency which is an online invention free of any government involvement.

What’s wrong with this picture?

A computer currency is the most trackable of any kind. If you fear Big Brother intrusions in your life, would you opt for an online currency?

I suppose someone might.

The third article seems out of place to me.

I would have expected an article about gold and silver coins, or increasing use of cash.

But that’s just me.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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