Friday, May 12, 2006

Blogging on the Fly

Job-blogging as my computer seems to reject internet access.

So now the USA Today wants us to be outraged that NSA continues to be effective in hampering terrorist telecommunications. Federal law has been pretty clear on the issue: computer scans of telecom data are constitutional in ways human surveillance is not, because computers can be relied on to ignore context and capture only the pertinent information.

Also, does anybody remember the Clinton counterterrorism database? To counter the threat of domestic terrorism from the extreme right, Clinton's Justice Dept. monitored political activity and created a database with names, dates, and political meetings of hundreds of Americans. Cross-referenced by name and subject; request data on anti-abortion activism and you'd get Catholic bishops as well as the Army of God.

Bear that in mind the next time somebody touts all the increased spending Clinton called up to fight terrorism. And whenever somebody moans that an NSA computer has a database of call activity to help write search algorithms.

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