Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Web snooping to come


National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act "will be a walk in the park compared to this," McConnell said. "this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we're going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens."
I just love this gambit. They did the exact thing with the PATRIOT Act: Compile a wishlist, even if said wishes aren't politically feasible at the current time. Put it on the shelf. Then wait for the opportune moment to ram it through when everyone's attention is diverted elsewhere or people are scared shitless, so resistance will be either nonexistent or minimal.

This comports so very well with "democratic" governance. Hopefully Naomi Klein doesn't see this, or she'll have another thing to add to the paperback edition of The Shock Docrtine.

More cringe-worthy material:
McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

"Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens.

"Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: 'Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words -- McConnell's aide believes greater security can only come at privacy's expense.
Poor Ben Franklin in that grave of his. So very restless.

The New Yorker piece is available here.