Saturday, May 13, 2006

Gov't Tracking Phone Calls in the US

Yesterday morning, I heard on NPR some idiot (I wish I could recall who it was) saying basically, “it’s not *that* bad it’s not as if they’re tracking the contents of your phone calls.” As if the content would be the only thing that’s “private”.  Just calling someone indicates relationship. Calling someone often probably indicates a stronger relationship.


Let’s say you work for the government and have a spouse that you suspect may be cheating. Nothing illegal going on, but just immoral. You have access to every stinkin’ phone call your spouse ever made. You take a peek. Just a peek to see who he’s calling while you’re slaving away at the FBI.  Ah-ha! 30 phone calls to your best friend this week.  You’ve just violated his rights and probably just ruined your upcoming surprise birthday party *and* the affair they were having.  OK…in that instance, you probably would want to know the content, ‘cuz it could have been just a birthday party.


If you ever saw The Net, the movie with Sandra Bullock where pretty much everyone she knew was blown away, having phone call records would be one easy way to “do away with” everyone you know, without having to know anything about what was said on the phone in the calls. So there, a very, very bad thing.


OH, let’s say you have a friend who happens to be a communist. You’re living in the McCarthy era. Yeah, since you KNOW a commie, you must be one too. Right? Yeah, it wouldn’t be pretty.  I’m just sayin’…..


Paul said...

"OH, let’s say you have a friend who happens to be a communist. You’re living in the McCarthy era. Yeah, since you KNOW a commie, you must be one too. Right? Yeah, it wouldn’t be pretty. I’m just sayin’…."

Now lets suppose its not the 1950s anymore:

OH, let’s say you have a friend who happens to be a Muslim. You’re living in the neo-con Bush era. Yeah, since you KNOW a Muslim (who must be a terrorist too), you must be one too (that is a terrorist). Right? Yeah, it wouldn’t be pretty. I’m just sayin’….

Plus I suspect the NSA might be violating international law since they are also loging numbers called by Canadians (+ others) to the U.S. Its scary...the white house believes it is above the law, both domestically and abroad (i.e. violation of the Geneva Convention, illegal transport of suspected terrorists from secret prisions in Europe to countries were they can be tortured).

There is comfort in that the U.S. survived the McCarthy era. At that time there were people brave enough to stand up against Senator McCarthy such as Arthur Miller who wrote the play The Crucible. Hopefully in 2006 we will see our Arthur Millers rise up and challenge the evils of the present U.S. administration, Bush and his fellow neo-cons.

I read an article in the Winnipeg Free Press a couple of days ago about a survey that many people outside the U.S. identified the U.S. as the "new evil empire" taking the terminology from the cold war that originally applied to the Soviet Union. I feel it is going too far to claim the U.S. as the "evil empire" yet, but they definitely are close to being evil. Now I mean the present white house administration and not all the citizens of the U.S. I am keeping my fingers crossed that even though many in the U.S. would not normally vote Democrate that they will vote Dem in the Nov midterms so that Bush and his "gang" will face some opposition to their foriegn policies.

Sorry for my wee rant Cat. I hope you and your family are all well and enjoying the Lovely spring weather.

Tony LaRocca said...

As in the Abu Ghraib scandal, I can't decide which scares me more: the fact that these things go on, or the fact that our once respected intelligence community is so inept that the public finds out about them.

Personaly, I'll be that this is much more widespread, involves a lot more than logging call info, and has been going on a lot longer than we believe. But then I've never been much of an optimist.

Cat said...

Exactly, Paul. That's why it's soooo scary!

Cat said...

Tony, that's very true. If they really were slick, we'd never know and we could go on living our lives being tape recorded from birth, and never have to worry about it!

You can be sure that it is much more widespread. Optimist or not! :-)