April 7, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
OK, it's what I have been saying. Bush has ordered the NSA to monitor EVERY call and e-mail, domestic and international. They digitize the calls and feed that and the e-mails into a computer that looks for keywords. Messages of interest are then sent to a human for analysis. SO if you say certain words, someone from the government IS later listening to a recording of the call. There are no warrants so there is no oversight whatsoever on what they are looking for. There is NO WAY to know if they are using this for political purposes.
With no warrants and no oversight there isn't even any way to know if "rogue" lower-level workers are blackmailing people based on what they are hearing, whether they are guilty of anything or not. No way to know if people who say bad things about Republicans are being put on lists for retribution. But we do know that they do that in other circumstances...
Watch your backs.
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I think what bothers me most is what it costs in tax dollars to do this kind of utterly useless monitoring. Bush may not know much, but he sure knows how to spend money! Just think how many billions of calls and e-mails that is in a day. All those overheated computers grinding away. With all that information to sift through, there must be virtually no chance of actually picking up anything of value, at least not in time to do anything about it. Half the population of the country would have to be involved in analyzing the data!
By the way, since e-mail goes out via dial-up, DSL, cable and wireless, would one method of sending it be safer than another?
I've always assumed as much. From late 2001 through 2004 I was the distribution manager for the antiwar tabloid "WarTimes/Tiempo de Guerras" and we always believed that everything we did was watched. In fact, we made sure that we had no special firewall so watching would be easier, as we figured that would make them less likely to actively impede us.
This is the way we live folks.
Posted by: janinsanfran at April 7, 2006 7:36 PM
Yeesh. Well Dave, I'm glad I didn't bet you any money over this when you first told me that you thought they'd already been setting such equipment up.
Posted by: natasha at April 7, 2006 8:18 PM
You got it Dave. I am surprised that most of America just doesn't "get" this capability that we have had for a long time and since 9/11 looked the other way when they use it against their own. Average americans think that just because there's not some camera mounted in front of them whereever they go (like Orwell's 1984) that they are not under surveilance... See my comments at the diary you refer to from Kos. Look for RandyH. You are dead-on. Also, follow the link that I give in the comments to the wikipedia article. It gives alot of background that I don't go into. Be aware though that it is now ALOT bigger than they describe in that Wikipedia piece.
I thought that Randy's dKos comment should be linked here.
And here's the wikipedia entry.
When this administration got their hands on the government, they accelerated the run to Big Brother. Everyone is being monitored now.
Posted by: Mary at April 8, 2006 11:52 AM
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