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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Why The Collection Of Metadata Is A Very, Very Big Deal

Some people seemed strangely relieved in the wake of the NSA spying scandal when Obama said “no one is listening to your phone calls.” First of all, while they are clearly not listening to everyone’s phone calls, they certainly are listening to certain people’s calls and that isn’t acceptable in a free society. Second of all, it’s pretty obvious that the one reason they aren’t listening to everyone’s calls is because it wouldn’t be practical or effective. As Matt Blaze notes in this great article from Wired, the government isn’t primarily tracking metadata rather than content in an attempt to protect privacy, but rather because metadata is the most efficient and effective way in which to spy on and preempt domestic political dissent. From Wired:

We now know that every day, U.S. phone companies quietly send the government a list of who called whom and when — “telephony metadata” — for every call made on their networks, because of a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It turns out that this has been going on for seven years (and was even reported by USA Today then); the difference now is that the government — uncharacteristically for such a secret intelligence operation — quickly acknowledged the authenticity of the leaked order and the existence of the metadata collection program.



Anonymous said...

this is a fantastic article. this is what I've been saying all along; especially to those who are on the fence and the libs who are clueless and even those who say they don't care.
this type of "spying" and collection of data can be used in extortion, intimidation, and bribery. I venture to say it's being used NOW. think of the way some of our pols are voting and our justices and judges are "judging". this is very dangerous to say the least.
this could happen on all levels of government and could also include Nations.
does anyone understand what i'm saying? I sure hope so, because our future is at stake.

lmclain said...

Where are the people who sanctimoniously keep referring to "tin foil hats". Their complete and total stupidity has been totally exposed. Joe, please let one of those inane goofs post something defending this rising police state. Just don't let them say anything like "if you aren't doing anything wrong you shouldn't worry about anything", because THAT only further discredits their pathetic intellect and nonextistent grasp of what this country stands for....

Anonymous said...

9:22 PM

They are silent, as is often the case when they are presented with facts. Their minds short circuits and cannot function for a period of time. They will be back, don't worry. as Benjamin Franklin famously put it, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain—and most fools do.”