Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove
It is of course the eve of the western world's big hoohaa and most of the editorial press have retreated for the holidays. Not the New York Times who here reveal more about domestic spying in Amerika. NYT have been getting some flack of late for having anti-Bush sentiments - odd, given that they are part of the Murdock media empire and some of the items in question have been with-held from publication until recently.
Here's a quote -
"One outside expert on communications privacy who previously worked at the NSA said that to exploit its technological capabilities, the American government had in the last few years been quietly encouraging the telecommunications industry to increase the amount of international traffic that is routed through American-based switches."
This gets ever more worrying. First Bush admits spying on domestic/international calls. Then they admit this may have included domestic/domestic calls due to a glitch in the way the empire's computer systems operate. Then we find they've been spying on both Islmic and other foreign organisations to the extend of monitoring their offices for traces of radiation. Lastly, we find they have actively been encouraging the routing of international telecoms traffic through the USA - presumably to spy further. This must be a collosal operation.
It has been pointed out that were any former president have have engaged in even a hint of such activity they would have denied it since the over-riding duty of the White House incumbant is to preserve and enforce the constitution. Since such activities go against the constitution itself, they would have been considered to have betrayed the entire nature of their office. Impeachment would not nearly be enough for commiting such crimes. We all know about Nixon's little jaunt and one suspects that no President will have totally clean hands in this area, but Bush is certainly the first to admit this kind of thing publicly. He not only admits it, but proclaims his divine right to do it and challenges anyone to argue the point. To date, there have been pathetically few takers.
That look set to change, but one still has to worry about the spying infrastructure that must now exist. If those of us living elsewhere are taking advantage of cheap international call services, how likely is it that they are being routed through a US government subsidised hub for surveillance purposes. It is not just we individuals who should be worried, but our governments themselves. The prospect of commerce wedded to a particular government and that government itself wedded to both fundamentalism and trans-national robbery hardly sits comfortably with the notion of freedom - be it for the individual or governments themselves.
This weekend there will be more international phone calls between individuals than at any other time of year. So as you enjoy the holidays, spare a thought for those poor eaves-dropper no doubt working overtime.
Reports are coming of a possible terror alert. Homeland security are said to have detected several imposter flights masquerading as the reindeer-powered craft, Santa Force One. Officials are currently believed to be trying to locate the authentic one before blasting the fakes out of the sky. The public are warned to be careful what comes down their chimney tonight. If in doubt - shoot to ... (killjoy)