Information Retrieval

TelephoneMy long history with Qwest and US West before them has given me a mixed relationship with the company. I love them for having the foresight to share their DSL network with smaller entities instead of taking the monopolistic approach that Comcast has. I dislike them for some of the anti-competitive antics they have displayed over the past thirteen years.

Today gave me another reason to love Qwest. The fact that they told the NSA where to jump when they requested the call detail records of all their customers. Where this incredible display of spine sourced from, I can not explain, but it makes me feel a little bit better (15% to be exact) to be in a Qwest service region. Why the rest of our corporate overlords are so quick to bow to government monitoring is a better question.

The other display of technical bumbling to come out of Washington this week was the FCC insistence that all voice calls over the Internet be tappable. Does the FCC realize that its a simple matter to encrypt data including voice traffic? Do they know that their efforts to regulate and control law-abiding Americans inside the United States will go ignored by the majority of the planet?

The administration insists that it is only using this information against members of Al-Qaeda. In other words, only using wholesale privacy invasions for good, not evil. Individuals who trust this with blanket acceptance display a turnaround in attitude towards government. This must mean the government isn’t smart enough to manage a social security pension, but it has an uncanny ability to divine who is an Al-Qaeda member. The President said recently that he hasn’t heard any Democrat running for election stand up and call for an end to the Terrorist Surveillance Program (fondly known as “TSP” inside White House circles). News flash! If you know the person is a terrorist that you are surveilling, ARREST THEM.

Here’s something to give conservatives pause when considering these government actions. Substitute “Internet monitoring” and “call detail record analysis” with “gun control” and you quickly see who is being punished here. Hint, it’s not the people breaking the law. Any terrorist coordinating plans over the the public telephone network has got to have a lower IQ than shoebomber Richard Reid. Terrorists depend on cells that barely have any knowledge of each other, let alone organizing attacks with telephone trees. Monitoring of Americans has its place, but that place comes after examination by a court.

Mr. President, if what you said in a press conference is a gauntlet, then I’ll take that challenge.

Vote for me and I’ll do everything I can to end the unwarranted government spying on Americans.

9 thoughts on “Information Retrieval

  1. I am now a huge fan of Qwest. Unfortunately, I live on the east coast and am not able to use them. I have Verizon, who has already given my phone records to the NSA. They try to tell us that all they have are phone numbers and no names? BullSh*t! If they do find an individual whose phone activity is suspicious, they can go get the name and address. So what makes you think they can’t get the journalists, bloggers, and political enemies?

  2. Now we can look back upon previous heydays of ‘unwarranted’ surveillance and say “at least most of them had warrants.”

  3. I’m now thinking about switching to Quest. Oh and you still had my vote anyway Pete. Thanks for the info and keep it up!

  4. Pingback: Part of the Plan » Blog Archive » Why All The Fuss?

  5. I am in shock. This is not the QWest I am familiar with. I applaud them for this.

  6. Good on you Pete. I’ll be voting for you and have some ideas to help your campaign if you would like to talk about them I will be in town thru monday

  7. Well said- but I want to point out one thing- It may not always be in the nations best interest to arrest a known terrorist immediatly. If law enforcement is listening in on terrorist phone calls and gaining information, they would immediatly lose that source of information after arresting the suspect (terrorist). Of course, obtaining a legal warrant for the wire tap would be prefferred.

    Good luck with your campaign, I’ll tell all of my Utah friends to vote for you. (I really don’t like Orin Hatch)

  8. We had data collected on a number of the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks, but not the resources to translate it. How are we doing a better job analyzing the intelligence we have by gathering such overwhelming amounts of information on everybody? (inspiration:

    This seems like the only benefit is one can pull up the calling records of a particular individual, and immediately reference everyone they associate with. However, if one is up to no good, they’re not going to use the public phone infrastructure. It’s like Friendster, Orkut or LinkedIn for everyone. The potential for abuse is scary, especially since King George II thinks his administration is above any oversight.

  9. ugh… just for the record, according to the Mark Klein’s documents that he took from AT&T, no one is safe. The peering circuit chart is very telling. They listed peering circuits wich pretty much connect “the internet” with their Narus boxes. The Narus boxes are basically giant network vaccumms.

    “Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network), we can record,” says Steve Bannerman, marketing vice president of Narus, a Mountain View, California, company. “We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their (voice over internet protocol) calls.”

    The bummer is that we need like 200 more guys like Pete who are new blood and aren’t part of the good ol’e boys network. The worry I have with all new politicians is that they are completely ready to take on the government “man” but then when they get there they have to bow and curtsey to the established “boys” so that they’ll vote for your agenda.

    Pete, you have my vote, and I wish you the best on your battle!

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