Sunday, September 09, 2007

Are you in somebody's "Community of Interest"?

It is the stuff of movies. Hollywood produces stuff which most of us find enticingly terrifying. We would remain terrified at the prospect of government gathering information and forming dossiers on us if it weren't for the knowledge that most of what Hollywood produces is fiction; intended for entertainment purposes only.

You should be able to believe that until you find out that the FBI in the US and the RCMP and CSIS in Canada are reaching beyond those who might be "suspects" and attaching suspicion to a suspect's acquaintances and casual contacts.
The F.B.I. cast a much wider net in its terrorism investigations than it has previously acknowledged by relying on telecommunications companies to analyze phone-call patterns of the associates of Americans who had come under suspicion, according to newly obtained bureau records.


The community of interest data sought by the F.B.I. is central to a data-mining technique intelligence officials call link analysis. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, American counterterrorism officials have turned more frequently to the technique, using communications patterns and other data to identify suspects who may not have any other known links to extremists.
That's right. They got into the telecommunications companies. They took a service you pay for, which has provided a guarantee of security and privacy to its customers under law, and pillaged away on a fishing expedition of proportions we have only just begun to hear about.

You didn't have to be a suspect. You only have to have communicated with a suspect. Cathie succinctly demonstrates what that can lead to. And while we have yet to hold the feet of Canada's federal surveillance agencies to an appropriately hot fire, the Mahar Arar case speaks volumes.

And you thought it was all Hollywood fiction. Actually, it is. Hollywood was just a little ahead of the emerging reality. And then the fantasy conspiracies of government to control the population and illegally delve into every aspect of life became fact.

Soon, the weak minds of terminally terrified grasp onto the story-lines and plots of Hollywood, convinced that they will work in reality. When the ruling class celebrates lawlessness, either the ruling class must be removed or our civil liberties and human rights will vanish.
"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand. "Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

A US Supreme Court Justice with a firm grasp on fantasy. If it can happen on TV, it can happen in real life. These people are too morally bankrupt to run countries. We should just send them to the movies and forget them.

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