Friday, May 12, 2006

You Don't HAVE No Steenkin' Privacy!

Jessica tells it the way it really is:

Of course, the media use data mining databases all the time. The databases used by the media are not available to just anyone off the street. You have to demonstrate you are a company or law enforcement. The databases cross publicly available databases and information. Who intrudes on the privacy of Americans more than our news media?

It's an amazingly powerful search tool. When I was a reporter, there were unlisted telephone numbers in it all the time. I have no idea where they get all this stuff, but it's amazingly precise. The database tells you who's lived at the same address as any given person in the last 10 years or so, along with cars they drive and telephone numbers. It does not provide social security numbers. I once found a man who had been put up for adoption 25 years ago and who had changed his name twice. Found him in 5 minutes. Once tracked down the sister of a post office shooter in New Orleans just by running the shooter's name.


Granted, that's different from what the NSA is doing: Getting phone records from the telephone companies. But there is a certain analogy - it's "investigative intelligence" one might say - and the media might stop being so shocked about lawful intrusion into the privacy concerns of average Americans when they use databases to intrude into people's privacy all the time, and for far less important reasons than national security.


Check it out. It's called
Autotrack.

On occasion, I've wondered how the blazes the MSM finds out that 'Jack is Jill's brother' and interviews Jill about Jack's latest escapade. Now I know. It is NOT "journalistic digging."

1 comment:

allendrury said...

I am one very angry American tonight.

I would prefer to be lighthearted and cheery. But unlike those who have power in Washington I do love America. I think the Constitution is one impressive document and the hopes of the Founding Fathers most inspiring. I do not think governing by fear is a noble way to lead a nation. I do not think employing tactics that run counter to the laws of the land are just or moral.

Call me old fashioned, but tonight I am one pissed off American. And I think I am not a minority any longer.

Once again President Bush and his reckless Administration have been proven to be thoughtless and careless with the responsibilities the country placed in them. As with so many other days in this sad chapter of Bush’s tenure in Washington we can say with certainty that our Constitution is being shredded. We can say with factual authority that our civil rights are being destroyed.

It came to light this week in a USA Today news article that confirmed three telecommunication firms provided the National Security Agency with domestic telephone call records from tens of millions of Americans beginning shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Though many of us have long suspected it this was the first major reporting which allowed all Americans to understand the depths of betrayal this Administration has stooped.

It should be recalled this report comes months after the Bush administration came under criticism on Capitol Hill for ordering an NSA surveillance program that allowed communication to be monitored between people in the United States and terrorism suspects overseas without a court order.

Governing by fear has allowed this Administration to retain power. But as the polling completed by news operations prove the public has run out of patience. This latest deplorable action will be worth at least a 2 point decline in the former drug addict’s poll numbers.