all things are untied
perhaps we're boiling over inside
they've been telling lies
who's been telling lies?
there are no angels
there are devils in many ways
take it like a man
Been away for a while doing Dork things. There have been a number of topics that I have been thinking about posting, but have not had the time. Harry Potter to blame. All that devilish whatnot...
This is the intro to a more (interesting hopefully) post which I have been thinking about for a few days now. It all started when I saw an article about a bunch of nutter senators calling for "Universal Internet filtering". Ugh. Just a quick aside on the rational of the argument starts with limiting access to adult oriented content, wanders over toward child porn and ends in or around proactively protecting children from evil clown pornlords or some fuckadoodle thing.
Just so you don't think that I am making this stuff up, the listing for the witness panel posted on the senate.gov web site looks something like:
Dr. David Finkelhor, Director, Crimes Against Children Research Center, Horton Social Sciences Center, University of New HampshireMr. Ernie Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Missing & Exploited ChildrenMr. Lan W. Neugent, Assistant Superintendent for Technology and Human Resources, Virginia Department of EducationMs. Christine N. Jones, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Go Daddy Group, Inc.
So I have this little nugget sitting in my brain, and I wander across a rather interesting article on Gonzales perjuring himself yet again over what exactly the NSA is doing with regard to warentless wiretapping of Americans. Short official version looks something like:
In December 2005, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau broke the story of the Terrorist Surveillance Program for the New York Times. Risen's resulting book, State of War, described a surveillance effort where the National Security Agency "monitor(s) and eavesdrop(s) on large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States to search for potential evidence of terrorist activity, without search warrants or any new laws that would permit such domestic intelligence collection." Previously, the NSA only eavesdropped on foreign communications. Although the scope of that effort remains unclear, Risen estimated that NSA eavesdrops on "as many as five hundred people in the United States at any given time and it has potentially has access to the phone calls and e-mails of millions more."
The New York Times' publication of those explosive charges prompted President Bush to disclose, on December 19, 2005, what he would later call the Terrorist Surveillance Program:"I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. This program is carefully reviewed approximately every 45 days to ensure it is being used properly. … "(T)he legal authority is derived from the Constitution, as well as the authorization of force by the United States Congress.
… "I want to make clear to the people listening that this program is limited in nature to those that are known al Qaeda ties and/or affiliates. That's important. So it's a program that's limited, and you brought up something that I want to stress, and that is, is that these calls are not intercepted within the country. They are from outside the country to in the country, or vice versa. So in other words, this is not a -- if you're calling from Houston to L.A., that call is not monitored. And if there was ever any need to monitor, there would be a process to do that."
What President Bush described was far more constrained than the surveillance Risen reported.
While the public mess of Gonzales carefully digging just the right size hole to be thrown into is quite interesting and important (what with the whole constitution thing and whatnot), I began to think more about just exactly who officially gets to look at my personal bits on the internets and what the associated burden is. The question becomes quite interesting and complicated when you begin to look at it in detail. Hopefully over the next few weeks I can bore you all with some overview and details about who wants to look at my magic ball of string.Here 'you all' refers to both the beloved Mrs Set Element whom I love and is sitting typing away at some sort of gloomy MCAT application, and the good Mr. Spiros whose wordhoard is put together quite a bit more completely than my own.
Your humble (and intoxicated) author.