Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The revelations about the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping have sparked a debate about whether we can trust the government. But what’s to debate? We already know the answer. A few years ago there was an outcry against Total Information Awareness, a Pentagon project headed by Iran-Contra veteran John Poindexter that was set up to sweep through huge volumes of e-mails and other electronic information fishing for patterns suggestive of terrorist planning. The civil-liberties threat was obvious, and because of the protest, the administration said it would shut down the program. Now we know that although the office was shut down and Poindexter departed, a similar function has remained in operation, with the help of major telecommunications companies. According to the New York Times, the government, despite its earlier assurances, has been mining data like gangbusters. So who are you going to believe, them or your eyes?
Posted by Sheldon Richman at 1:52 PM