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If only there was a way to narrow the search down a little

I know, I know…we’ve known forever the spooks were data-mining. But not on this scale. If nothing else, I didn’t think private companies would cooperate with the government so happily. If nothing else, the technology wasn’t there to store and sift the sheer volume of data. Not until recently.

To hear Jim Sensenbrenner tell it, if the Feds were interested in somebody, they were supposed to get a warrant for his phone records (he wrote the Patriot Act, he should know). What they did instead was get a warrant for everybody’s records, so the records would be around in case they get interested in somebody later.

I have no words.

How carefully the higher ups have explained to us that no-one is listening in on phone conversations. Maybe, but the metadata is plenty bad enough. No, it is not okay for the government to know who’s calling a shrink or a clap clinic. I remind you, leaking shit is Obama’s signature move. In future, all of our candidates may have to be Mormons – nobody else is clean enough.

And for all that technological hoo-ha, they missed the Tsarnaev brothers – and Major Hasan – who should have rung more alarm bells than Quasimodo. I guess two hundred billion data points a month isn’t the same things as intelligence.

On a happier note, if you lose somebody’s phone number, you can file an FOIA request.

June 10, 2013 — 8:35 pm
Comments: 35