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  • Tuesday, January 03, 2006


    Watching the Detectives

    What’s wrong with a little domestic spying? Prez Bush says they’ll only spy on bad guys, really. The Prez promises. Uh-huh. You’d have to be a dirty commie to doubt the Prez. So are ya, punk? Are you a dirty commie? (Er, sorry. That’s not the paradigm anymore. Mostly.) Are you a dirty terrorist, punk?

    In the November, 2005 issue of Mother Jones magazine is a two page spread (p 26-7) titled “The Watched.” Here are a few bits from it.
    Closed-circuit TV operators watch blacks twice as often as whites and monitor 1 in 10 women for “voyeuristic” reasons.

    By March, Chicago’s surveillance software will alert police to “suspicious and unusual behavior,” including wandering aimlessly, loitering, and pulling over on a highway.

    Manalapan, Fla., runs background checks on each car and driver that enters it.

    In an article about privacy, reported easily Googling Google’s CEO’s net worth, political donations, and Burning Man attendance. Google blacklisted reporters for one year.

    The State Dept. has delayed plans to embed passports with radio frequency ID (RFID) tags after privacy advocates publicly demonstrated the poorly encrypted chips could be read from 30 feet away.
    While I just love little digestible factoids like these, none of the items are sourced. This always makes me uneasy because I do like to occasionally follow up on these things and check the source material. I’m not a real (read: paid) journalist but I do feel a responsibility to at least casually fact-check some of the items I reproduce in this blog. Because I'd feel bad if I were caught in the middle of a kerfluffle like the recent Wikipedia blunder.

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