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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

feds tracking online for sexual behavior

Deanna Zandt writes on Alternet about the efforts of the federal government to track our online behavior. It is spooky stuff. Gonzales and Mueller want all internet service providers to keep records of all our behavior online for two years. Every email sent or received, every link followed, every package downloaded, every chat, everything. Given the role of the internet in our lives, that would be like the government having access to every step we take, every person we speak to, every conversation, all our groceries, litterally all that we do on a day to day basis.

The reason they claim they need this information is to track down sexual predators. If only I could believe them. You see, sexual predators have been used before for political purposes. I wrote earlier about the arguments some politicians have used to end net neutrality. In that case we saw a rather shameless use of the existence of sexual predators for political gains, that is to say, for the economic gains of big political donors such as the phone and cable companies—who seemed rather willing to hand over personal data to the government, didn't they.

So, I am not sure that the government really wants to limit use of these data to track down sex offenders. I don't think so at all. ABC reporters already showed that the government can use the phone data that the NSA is collecting to hunt down the sources that journalists use to gather otherwise secret insights in the working in this most secretive of all administrations. Political oppression is the goal.


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