Thursday, May 11, 2006

1984: A quarter-century late, but we're well on our way

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Originally uploaded by takuya37.
I'm thinking George Orwell was only off in terms of the number of years it would take. From the Associated Press:
...the government secretly collected records of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of every call made within the country....

AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth telephone companies began turning over records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls to the National Security Agency program shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said USA Today, citing anonymous sources it said had direct knowledge of the arrangement.
From the USA Today website:
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.
All I can say is this: Damn.

It's 1984... a little late, but it's here.

I wonder what General Hayden will have to say about this little NSA program.

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