Military builds teen database, intelligence agencies to watch blogs, and those liberal freaks go toooo farr....

This just rolled in: "Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes" for the purposes of profitable eminent domain, in this case a constructing huge friggin Pfizer research plant that locals objected to. So Pfizer has more rights than Joe pink Flamingo ranch house owner. Really quite awful. But that's just the beginning!

I forget who said: you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

Fortunately this circle will apparently widen to include all 16 to 18-year olds, whose private data will be added to a privately owned database administered on behalf of the Pentagon. Adding lots of personal information, including GPAs, Social Security numbers, and ethnicity, for the primary purpose of more closely targeting students to recruit into the military. I'd almost forgotten that the No Child Left Behind Act requires high schools to give the DoD information:

The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches.

The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The new database will include personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying.

[.....]

According to the Federal Register notice, the data will be open to "those who require the records in the performance of their official duties." It said the data would be protected by passwords.

The system also gives the Pentagon the right, without notifying citizens, to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

Some see the program as part of a growing encroachment of government into private lives, particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"It's just typical of how voracious government is when it comes to personal information," said James W. Harper, a privacy expert with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "Defense is an area where government has a legitimate responsibility . . . but there are a lot of data fields they don't need and shouldn't be keeping. Ethnicity strikes me as particularly inappropriate."

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the Social Security Administration relaxed its privacy policies and provided data on citizens to the FBI in connection with terrorism investigations.

Oddly enough, an AP story from last year entitled "Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials" has since vanished from Yahoo! News. However a Google search on the matter shows that many around the Internet found the story interesting enough to post in full. As the Maritime Homeland Security and Force Protection Blog posted it:

Yahoo! News - Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials

Tue Apr 27, 8:53 AM ET

By Doug Tsuruoka

People in black trench coats might soon be chasing blogs.

Blogs, short for Web logs, are personal online journals. Individuals post them on Web sites to report or comment on news especially, but also on their personal lives or most any subject.

Some blogs are whimsical and deal with "soft" subjects. Others, though, are cutting edge in delivering information and opinion.

As a result, some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what's reported in some blogs is questionable.

Still, a panel of folks who work in the U.S. intelligence field - some of them spies or former spies - discussed this month at a conference in Washington the idea of tracking blogs.

"News and intelligence is about listening with a critical ear, and blogs are just another conversation to listen to and evaluate. They also are closer to (some situations) and may serve as early alerts," said Jock Gill, a former adviser on Internet media to President Clinton (news - web sites), in a later phone interview, after he spoke on the panel.

If they had read my stuff a while ago they might have learned more clearly that the neocons are dangerous liars and so is Ahmed Chalabi. But tragically that circle never got completed.

Well I am not terribly surprised. I have already gotten 95 hits from US military computers this month, 170 in May. More military computers than Israelis or French end up here for whatever reason. And of course the Central Intelligence Agency paid a visit last November, shortly after the election. hm, it doesn't seem that I wrote a post about that. The CIA also came to Hongpong earlier on a search for "tower bridge terrorism" and why not, the Department of Homeland Security came looking for "unedited iraqi prison photos and videos". And of course CENTCOM.mil, the US Central Command, downloaded the whole Iraq category page. The everyday military guys love searching for the helicopter kill video. (my post is lacking in details about the incident: apparently the dead Iraqis were farmers or something)

If you want to see more military video excitement, check out militaryvideos.net, with files via bittorrent. It was really quite shocking, although I couldn't play a lot of the WMVs on my infidel Macintosh.

If you have certain keywords sitting around, then it's not a huge surprise that your site might come up on a few Google searches. Once the CIA starts getting your RSS feed, then you must really be important... I recently noticed that I've also got the top result for "Pipelines balkans" purely because I laid out the sources for a paper on the Pipelines:Balkans hongwiki page, purely for my own use. Google found its way in there, and the rest is history...

Let's not forget,

there's a lot of flag burners who have got too much freedom and I want to make it legal for policemen to beat em', because there's limits to our liberty!

For the fifth time the US House addressed the serious problems facing our troubled nation and passed a Constitutional amendment barring the torching of the American flag. I suppose this will become a justification to bomb Iran. Thune speaks for the mythical fascists of the plains:

Among the new votes for the amendment is Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who pushed the issue in his campaign and helped recruit co-sponsors. "Out in the country, at the grass-roots level, it's seen as a common man's practical patriotism," Thune said.

Not surprisingly, John Kline voted for it, Betty! against, and unfortunately Collin Peterson (D-Rural MN) supported it, as well. Now that's settled, we just have to ignore the budget, steal the Arabs' oil, fund some Israeli settlements, design nuclear bunker-buster bombs and sit back and wait for the apocalypse. While the Pentagon tracks my little brother's GPA.

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