ETA — Good news: I can still post. Bad news: FYWP’s ‘Schedule’ function still borkt.
Ken Layne trolls his readers at Gawker:
… Today’s scandals are only scandals because we have yet to acknowledge that we carry tracking beacons wherever we go—whether a smart phone or Google Glass or inside our car’s navigation system—and that all of our communications are collected and saved, just in case. Some of it is given voluntarily, like the Tea Party groups self-declaring as tax-deductible non-profits, and some of it is collected by everything from traffic cameras keeping timestamped license plate numbers to Apple or Google keeping years worth of location data collected as you go from home to work to liquor store to strip club to home again…
The logo for the Total Information Awareness Office shows a pyramid orbiting the Earth with its All Seeing Eye gazing over the Arab world. When people freaked out about that logo in the Patriot Act days, it was more about the creepy Big Brother concept rather than fear that all this potentially incriminating data might even be preserved off-world. But it probably is. Most American space missions are classified. There’s a robot space shuttle replacement that flies for months and months at a time, and you can’t get anyone in the American government to say what it’s doing up there. An entire town has sprung up in the Utah desert to monitor and store data tracking the lives of Americans. Not far away, the private backup company Mozy has its own underground city. Maybe you use the service. It’s very convenient.
All the Big Brother stuff you’ve been hearing about and fretting about or possibly dismissing as no big deal, it’s all real. It’s operational. The phone companies opened their data spigots to America’s domestic and (supposedly) foreign intelligence agencies after 9/11. Email, Google searches and Web history are all available to law enforcement. New regulations pushed by Eric Holder last year would let the government legally keep all information on all Americans for five years, regardless of any suspicion of terrorism or criminal activity. And by the time they’re asking permission to do something, they’ve already got it mastered….
I would’ve guessed there’d be a lot more discussion there, but maybe Gawker just isn’t as commentor-friendly as (ahem) some non-commercial blogs?