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[mob] [Fwd: FC: William Safire on Pentagon surveillance: "You Are a Suspect!"]

-----Forwarded Message-----

> From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: FC: William Safire on Pentagon surveillance: "You Are a Suspect!"
> Date: 14 Nov 2002 09:18:58 -0500
> A number of politechnicals sent this along last night, with Marc being the 
> first. He notes that EPIC has a FOIA case against the Defense Department 
> pending in federal court in Washington DC to uncover more information about 
> Poindexter and DARPA. See also:
> "Pentagon's Big Brother computer: Echelon on steroids?"
> http://www.politechbot.com/p-04160.html
> "Pentagon wants a 'Big Brother' supercomputer, from NYT"
> http://www.politechbot.com/p-04151.html
> And some previous columns by William Safire:
> http://www.politechbot.com/cgi-bin/politech.cgi?name=safire
> -Declan
> ---
> Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 23:27:56 -0500
> To: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
> From: Marc Rotenberg <[email protected]>
> Subject: Safire on TIA ("You Are a Suspect")
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/14/opinion/14SAFI.html?pagewanted=print&position=bottom
> November 14, 2002
> You Are a Suspect
> WASHINGTON If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before
> passage, here is what will happen to you:
> Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine
> subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web
> site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade
> your receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and
> every event you attend all these transactions and communications
> will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a virtual,
> centralized grand database."
> To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial
> sources, add every piece of information that government has
> about you passport application, driver's license and bridge
> toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy
> neighbors to the F.B.I., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest
> hidden camera surveillance and you have the supersnoop's dream:
> a "Total Information Awareness" about every U.S. citizen.
> This is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It is what will
> happen to your personal freedom in the next few weeks if John
> Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks.
> Remember Poindexter? Brilliant man, first in his class at the
> Naval Academy, later earned a doctorate in physics, rose to
> national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan. He had
> this brilliant idea of secretly selling missiles to Iran to pay
> ransom for hostages, and with the illicit proceeds to illegally
> support contras in Nicaragua.
> A jury convicted Poindexter in 1990 on five felony counts of
> misleading Congress and making false statements, but an appeals
> court overturned the verdict because Congress had given him
> immunity for his testimony. He famously asserted, "The buck
> stops here," arguing that the White House staff, and not the
> president, was responsible for fateful decisions that might
> prove embarrassing.
> This ring-knocking master of deceit is back again with a plan
> even more scandalous than Iran-contra. He heads the "Information
> Awareness Office" in the otherwise excellent Defense Advanced
> Research Projects Agency, which spawned the Internet and stealth
> aircraft technology. Poindexter is now realizing his 20-year
> dream: getting the "data-mining" power to snoop on every public
> and private act of every American.
> Even the hastily passed U.S.A. Patriot Act, which widened the
> scope of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and weakened
> 15 privacy laws, raised requirements for the government to report
> secret eavesdropping to Congress and the courts. But Poindexter's
> assault on individual privacy rides roughshod over such oversight.
> [...] 
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