Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eye in the Sky: NSA Wiretaps

I promised myself I wasn't going to delve into this but after seeing
Kazys post today I got inspired to chime in. You must be aware of the NSA wire tap scandal/program that was revealed in USA Today a week or so ago.

In that article the major telecoms were revealed to be giving data to the NSA on millions of phone calls by Americans, domestic calls, not simply the international calls the administration alleged. Since that time, Verizon and Bell South have denied their role, which leaves the story even more murky. The adminsitration has denied data mining and trolling but has apparently found a loophole around FISA (or click here) by purchasing commercial data - not personal data. Clever as usual when needing to break the law.

Well now Wired magazine has reveled that indeed data has been purchased by the NSA (taxpayer money of course) from AT & T - which has never denied the claim. Check out the pdf here. Seems we're all suspects as the NSA creates the biggest database ever assembled. This is exactly what John Poindexter (Iran Contra) has long envisioned as the developer of the Genoa program.

But wait, it doesn't stop with American citizens, the EU is also a part of this. The U.S. is now able to request foreign data through the EU Data Retention Act. This gives acces to phone calls, emails, sms' of EU citizens. Its access that the U.S. Gov. is getting quite agressive in requesting. We have our Orwellian crossroad at hand.

Read Kazys post about the reality of the dark side of network culture as this is a good contrast to the optimistic Economist survey of new media.. You should also check out this excerpt from "A Brief History of the State of Exception" by Giorgio Agamben as cited by Kazys.

Sovietization is apparently here.

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