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pissed off, worn out

<< May 11, 2006 @ 11:21 >>

Well, it looks like the government's üat;ber creepy computer data mining program Total Information Awareness is on the front page, this time perhaps revealing it's ugly scope.

That's right, the government is building a database of every domestic call ever made.

Before I get into why this is a bad thing, in case you are one of the 31% of Americans still drinking the Kool-Aid, let me just remind you that even our less-belovéd-than-the-president Congress thought that Total Information Awareness was a violation of our privacy. Congress cut its funding, and yet it was just sweeped into a classified budget rather than being shut down. I've blogged about this before.

So, why is it a bad thing? Well, you compliment this with domestic surveillance (you don't still believe that NSA spy program is just international and just involving terrorists do you?), rendition flights, and torture... and you've got yourself a less than pretty picture.

Look, what do you think they are going to do with a big database of every phone call ever made? They're going to mine it for data. They're going to let some software dig through this data to try to find connections between good people and bad people. They're going to look for patterns. They're going to look for people who the computer thinks they should watch, and they are going to watch them.

Let's not forget that people write this software. The kind of people who write the software you curse at when it crashes at work. The kind of people who write the software that suggests products to you that you have no interest in buying. Imperfect people can only make imperfect software.

But the spooks will trust it. They'll mine it, and somebody who is just a tax paying everyday American is going to get on a government watch list because he made the wrong combination of phone calls. And who knows what happens after that.

It isn't just your phone calls. I'd like to point that out. Internet traffic is being routed through NSA computers. AT&T got sued about that, and the government shut the lawsuit down.

There's no oversight. Every attempt to investigate has been stonewalled.

If they don't have anything to hide then why are they so worried about investigations?

You don't have to take my word on all of this. You could read any one of these media reports. You could listen to investigative reporting that was on NPR.

Even a former director of the NSA thinks what's going on is wrong. Here's some of what Admiral Bobby Ray Inman had to say:

"This activity is not authorized," Inman said.

The Bush administration "need(s) to get away from the idea that they can continue doing it."

Education yourself. This is the makings of a police state. Despite what you were taught in civics class. Despite everything you've ever believed about the 4th Amendment of the Constitution... these people don't read it as requiring warrants for searches. They think that any "reasonable" search is Constitutional, and they'll define "reasonable" any way that fits them. Why does the 4th mention warrants at all then?

Why did our Founding Fathers give us a 4th Amendment if not to protect us from this?

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Reader Comments...

May 12, 2006 @ 08:30:14

jem.pngpamelaNeko (#1001)

Did you just say "Education yourself" - ?

May 12, 2006 @ 11:00:18

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

Yes, get yourself lurned real good.

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