Sunday, November 16, 2014

So Now Comes Word From the NYT

That there are all kinds of surveillance activities going on, not just the NSA, and Oh Gee, Isn't It A Shame?


Gosh almighty. Ya think?

I seem to recall I was yapping quite some time back that the obsessive focus on NSA surveillance was a smokescreen covering up all the other surveillance activities going on, by both the public and private sectors, most of which was far-far closer to you'n'me than the NSA ever gets.

While everyone was keening and rending their garments over the NSA surveillance revealed in the Snowden docs, all the rest of it, from the FBI and the Post Office and Google -- and ALL the rest -- was utterly ignored, and anyone who pointed out these other more intrusive surveillance activities going on all the time was denounced or dismissed.

The only thing that mattered -- absolutely the ONLY thing -- was that the NSA was hoovering everyone's phone calls and internet searches and was storing them in some server farm in Utah.

But the surveillance is so much closer to ordinary folks than that, and it's so much more intrusive, and it is so much more likely to result in harm to ordinary people than almost anything the NSA does or has ever done.

To say so, though, is to risk being labeled a crank.

At least until now, when the New York Times announces its semi-official findings of, well, surveillance all the way down.

There was a recent story about surveillance by the Post Office that caused a bit of a ruckus, but that's only part of the surveillance they do. There is so much more. So very much more. But the media and public obsession with NSA surveillance overwhelmed any consideration of the surveillance conducted so widely by so many agencies and businesses.

It's as if it were by design.

Being the cynic I am, I think it was by design.

By focusing so much attention where nothing was ever likely to be done, and where very few individuals would be directly harmed by the surveillance, the other closer surveillance activities and agencies could consolidate and coordinate their effort far more closely and completely within a kind of protective cloak that would only be removed once the job was done.

That point seems to have been reached, now that the New York Times sees fit to print news of these Other Surveillance Activities.

"Oh and by the way..."


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