Tuesday, January 15, 2008

McConnell Drafts Plan for Sweeping Internet Surveillance

This is ugly.

In news from Washington, the head of the nation’s spy agencies has revealed the government wants the authority to read all information crossing the Internet in the United States including personal email messages. The New Yorker Magazine reports National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drafting a plan to rewrite the rules about online surveillance. He told the magazine the debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will “be a walk in the park compared to this.”
The information comes from an article The New Yorker has prepared, but not yet published. One proposal of the plan is to reduce the number of access points between government and the internet, from 2000 to 50. From Raw Story:
"Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words -- McConnell's aide believes greater security can only come at privacy's expense.

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