June 01, 2006

Big Brother Expanding His Reach

At this point, nothing really, truly, surprises me anymore about Bush and his cronies. But I don't think any of us could have foreseen the rampant overturning of civil liberties made possible through the Patriot Act, and the unsanctioned and probably unconstitutional NSA wiretaps, first for foreign calls and now domestically.

Today we learn that the FBI, teamed up with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would like to demand ISPs keep two years of Internet data online, at the very least. Their reasoning? The same as always. It could "aid investigations into terrorism" and pornography to boot - not that pornography itself is illegal, but it can be if you're twisted enough about it.

As with all of Bush's other mandates, no outline is given as to how this will be paid for. I don't expect that Congress is going to "gift" the technology providers with the required software and hardware, and massive amounts of storage necessary to store everything for two years, beyond that they already archive today. They're just supposed to get it done - in the same way businesses have had to react to Sarbanes-Oxley to avoid running against new federal regulations that demand data be archived.

The question is - where does it end? We thought it ended with the government looking into what books you got at the library. Then we thought it ended with them looking into calls to suspicious countries. Now we learn that the US may be one of those countries, as domestic calls are monitored. Now, our Web history and postings are to be stored. Are we going to go completely "1984", and talk to our leaders through the television set and be forced to think happy thoughts? That doesn't sound like the "land of the free and the home of the brave" to me.

Listening to ''Metronomic Underground'', by Stereolab (Play Count: 3)

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