Saturday, December 24, 2005

Total Information Awareness reborn

I was planning on writing about something else today, but I can't keep away from new developments in today's Times. As revealed this morning, the Bush Administration's illegal plan of spying on Americans is much larger than the White House has acknowledged. Specifically, the plan involved wholesale data mining of telecommunications traffic, including getting the cooperation of major telecom carriers to give the government access to their switches, huge computers that route voice and data signals through the system.

As the Times points out, this program recalls the idea, cooked up by Iran-Contra felon John Poindexter known as Total Information Awareness. The Times story says that Total Information Awareness was ultimately scrapped after public outcries over possible threats to privacy and civil liberties, but given these new revelations it's hard to feel that the American people are particularly secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects

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