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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The infrastructure to tap into Americans' email and web search history MAY already be in place?
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Monday, January 14, 2008

The infrastructure to tap into Americans' email and web search history MAY already be in place?

i don't think there's any MAY about it... it IS in place and has been for much longer than any of us would like to believe, easily dating back to the mid-90s or even earlier...
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”

The article, which profiles the 65-year-old former admiral appointed by President George W. Bush in January 2007 to oversee all of America's intelligence agencies, was not published on the New Yorker's Web site [PDF].

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

"Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words -- McConnell's aide believes greater security can only come at privacy's expense.


The infrastructure to tap into Americans' email and web search history may already be in place.

In November, a former technician at AT&T alleged that the telecom forwarded virtually all of its Internet traffic into a "secret room" to facilitate government spying.

Whistleblower Mark Klein said that a copy of all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office -- to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access -- via a cable splitting device.

i know there's a lot of folks out there that, when this stuff registers on their radar screen, somehow manage to shrug and just let it roll off their backs... others are easily distracted by the bells and whistles of the election campaign, somehow believing that the "right" choice for our next president will somehow magically insure salvation... then there are those like me and a few others who see the broader pattern of what's happening and have heart palpitations over every fresh revelation... but, putting all those folks together still doesn't add up to more than a few, single-digit percentage points of the citizenry... how many out there actually bother to inform themselves to the extent that they even READ articles like this...? how many actually UNDERSTAND that our precious constitution is being systematically shredded, that the rule of law has gone out the window, and that accountability is at the top of the endangered species list...? or do they know and just not care as long as there is no significant impact on their daily lives...?

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