Friday, June 16, 2006

Comrade George is watching you, carefully.

John Howard may have his eyes on grabbing the Norfolk Island but the Bush administration has it eyes on the people it trusts least in the world -- the American public. According to the Washington Post the prying into your life has dramatically increased and what the government is forbidden to do itself, by law, is purchased circumventing the law. At least 52 different federal agencies have launched almost 200 projects to collect private information about American citizens.

More government agencies are keeping track of the average American than worry about Osama bin Laden or the war on terrorism. Of course they say that most of their efforts to spy on American citizens is to fight terrorism. That mantra is the catch-all excuse for government expanding powers and becoming more intrusive. Data mining techniques were mostly used by private businesses in search of customers. But not most the data mining that is being done on Americans is being done by their own government spying on them. The vice president of one data mining company said: "What was surprising... was how aggressibe and hot the intelligence and security market is for this." This company said that over half their client list is now government agencies spying on Americans.

One problem is that such techniques of data mining really don't provide useful information on terrorists. It produces huge numbers of false leads and wastes millions of dollars and manhours tracking down normal citizens. But then that assumes the government's target is really terrorists and that it isn't just collecting information on Americans. One former official with the government said that the Bush people see things like this: "If you have nothing to hide, why do you care if I know what movies you rent? Who you are talking to? If you live a godly life, a perfect life, you don't have to worry about 100 percent disclosure." Welcome to Big Brother citizens. Of course by the time you figure out that big government is more of a threat to peace, prosperity and freedom than any terrorist is, well it will be too late comrades.