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What they're really looking for. (Part 2)
According to this report
about Homeland Security Agency computer use:
During the three-month period reviewed, 16 devices generated approximately 45.5 million of the 65 million security event messages (70%) recorded on the DHS wide area network (see Appendix D). Approximately 6.5 million (10%) of the 65 million security event messages were the ids.detect.misuse.porn message.6 Additionally, 4.9 million of the 6.5 million ids.detect.misuse.porn messages (approximately 75%) were generated by 16 devices or web sites. (See Appendix E)
Maybe, the real reason the feds want to get a hold of search data from Google, MSN, Yahoo etc. is that they want to find out what Homeland Security employees are up to. Maybe this explains the Katrina response.
Is President Bush a dictator? It seems to be what the administration is arguing
. According to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the president's powers as commander in chief make him the "sole organ for the Nation in foreign affairs." This sounds like little details like "Advice and Consent" of the Senate, the check and balances that we were lead to believe keep the government in check are being systematically dismantled. This is the same Attoney General who justified tortue andindefinite detention without trial. Are we witnessing the end of the U.S republic? I though tthe president was the commander-incheif of the military, not the nation.
Today at lunch a co-worker said just that; "These are the final days of the things we used to know." He was referring to the political system that we have been used to. Bush and company keep repeating the mantra "9/11 changed everything." Maybe they are right. We seem to have surrendered some time after 9/11. It just didn't make the papers. I don't expect Congress to stand up for the constitution. The current Congress, Republicasn and Democrats, seem only interested in keeping their jobs. They'll do fine in the new America.
It just doesn't make sense to me that the government was only listening to international commuications with suspected Al Qaeda contacts. If that was the case, why not get warrants? Why, without even minimal checks on the government's spying ability, should we believe that?
Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky. I hope so.
U.S. accused of spying on those who disagree with Bush policies
Why is this
not surprising? How could it go otherwise? If it hasn't already happened, it will. Once any government has the unrestricted power to spy on it's citizens, it will use that power to spy on political opponents. The NSA eavesdropping on domestic communications, the Google supoena, and this sort of thing are all one piece. We have seen this before. Big Brother is watching.
Of course, there's also this: The Other Big Brother
What are they really looking for?
The US Justice Department has supoened
Google requesting for 1 million random web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period. Ostensibly, this to prove that search for non-porn items often turn up porn images. Supposedly, these record will give a snapshot of how people navigate the Web. In a separate case in Pennsylvania, the Bush administration is trying to prove that Internet filters don't do an adequate job of preventing children from accessing online pornography and other objectionable destinations. Google is fihting the request. Yahoo has already complied. Personally, I will never use Yahoo search again.
There are certainly better ways to obtain this data. The feds could submit queries automatically and record the responses. However, with the Bush administration disregard for privacy, the constitution and due procees, it seem that this is possibly a smoke screen for more massive spying on the public. Maybe I'm paranoid, but not totally without cause. My suspicion is that the feds want to accumulate a large mass of deach queries so they can use them to train their algorithms for searching for terrorists, dissidents and anyone else the administration wants to keep tabs on. When searching for a signal in large amount of noisy data, it's important to have an model of the background noise. Large amounts of random search material would provde that.
How much power should he have?
I've been disturbed by the revelations that the Bush adminsitration has apparently been spying on Americans without legal oversight. I don't find it surprising that they are doing so. I have suspected for a while that they were. What I find particularly upsetting is the lack of reaction from the MSM. For example, consider the cover of this week's Newsweek - a picture of George W. Bush with the caption"How much power should he have?" Why is this a question? The powers of the president are outlined in the constitution and delimited by laws. It seems pretty clear he does not have the authoization to do what he is doing. However, if he is not challenged, he has the power.
The US is drifting further into authoritarianism when one man can decide what is legal and no one challenges him. I think it is unlikely that Congress will force the issue. They are much more concerned with partsanship than the rights of citizens. Bush's latest Supreme Court nominees are both authoritarians who consistently side with the government against the individual. There is a blog titled "Bush for King". I think it's a joke, but it's hard to tell these days. When one man makes the laws, is he the king?