Our government just made spying easier — spying on us!

Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Yes – we stopped George W. Bush from doing this – but, you can trust us!

The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse.

The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data mining them” using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat…

The changes are intended to allow analysts to more quickly identify terrorism suspects. But they also set off civil-liberties concerns among privacy advocates who invoked the “Total Information Awareness” program. That program, proposed early in the George W. Bush administration and partially shut down by Congress after an outcry, proposed fusing vast archives of electronic records — like travel records, credit card transactions, phone calls and more — and searching for patterns of a hidden terrorist cell.

But national security officials…cited safeguards to protect against abuse, including audits of searches. The same rules apply to access by other federal agencies involved in counterterrorism…Feeling safer, now?

The center has developed a priority list of databases it wants to copy entirely, but he and other officials declined to say which ones they were. “We’re all in the dark, and for all we know it could be a rerun of Total Information Awareness, which would have allowed the government to make a computerized database of everything on everybody,” said Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, who criticized the administration for not making the draft guidelines public for scrutiny ahead of time…

The new guidelines are intended to allow the center to hold on to information about Americans for up to five years…let’s say that, again: The new guidelines are intended to allow the center to hold on to information about Americans for up to five years — information about you that has absolutely nothing to do with national security even though that’s the excuse.

This is the government that hauls Google, Apple and Facebook before Congressional panels who swear they’re going to protect our privacy from being sold to advertisers – and couldn’t care less about protecting our privacy from government spies.

Humbug! Just as I beefed to my elected representatives when Bush the Little tried to foist Total Information Awareness upon us – I will do so, again. I don’t care which political party is in charge of spying on me. Both flavors suck!

7 thoughts on “Our government just made spying easier — spying on us!

  1. Mark says:

    Gotta love the corporatocracy. Both side are in it up to their necks and its pretty clear our elected officials no-longer represent us. I’m no Luddite, but its also pretty clear that technology is gradually being used to enslave us under the guise of liberating us. One of those ‘big lie’ things. Its no conspiracy. Just a convenient partnership of business and government for the pursuit of money and power.

  2. Dugutigui says:

    I’m agreed with your point, but all this seems smoke and mirrors to me. A little bit. I mean, what could be the use to accumulate the information produced by 450 million for 5 years? Probably minimum… an analyst helped by the latest technology, could not even control the information that could produce today 10 people a day. That means to control all of you they may need around 45 million of analysts … working 8 hours a day, something they would never could afford…
    For sure they control some particular people they have special interest on, but for the rest, they control my arse. On other hand the people that could be really interesting for them, I’m sure they are not stupid enough to be traced on the net…
    So a nice tale to frighten innocent minds, and, on other hand, nothing to fear, if you move within the law… it is just fear, not facts… but it seems to produce the same final effect…

      • Dugutigui says:

        Probably and mainly to perform illegal activities, although of course could be many other reasons, that even within the law, might infringe or just disturb the establishment … your website, for example… or my comments on this matter… 🙂

      • Dugutigui says:

        I think given the amount of information that an actual human being generated, the control to be effective must establish a minimum level of assessment. Those who like us harmless little fish swimming under that radar level could make some noise without attracting the specific attention of comptrollers.

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