Sunday, May 14, 2006

NSA - Not Seriously Affected

I carp a lot about big blogs and the size of their readership. This is mainly because the popular blogs are typically leftist sinkholes or blogs for what I call stupid conservatives. I call them stupid conservatives because they really aren't conservative at all, rather just anti-left, anti-muslim, anti-Hillary or a combination of all three. What I am trying to get at is that there isn't a lot of thinking going on at these places. Just screaming and name calling. Fine for the masses, not for me.

Unlike the people who actually run these popular blogs who haven't done a thimble full of research on the NSA phone call tracking "scandal" I decided to do a little reading on the subject.

If the NSA is telling the truth (big if) why is anyone surprised here? Data mining isn't anything new and we allow ourselves to be datamined and archived in many places every single day we exist here in our society. Before you read on please read two very interesting articles for me. The first is written by Jim over at Smoke on the Water. He compares the phone call lists to radaring (speedtraps are one of my pet peeves of which I will write about in a later date). The gist of the post is that when we drive to work and pass a speedtrap, highway camera or roadblock that we are de facto giving up a small part of our privacy. The second article you should read is by Kim over at The Other Side and is about how supermarkets datamine to take care of their large customers. It is a fascinating read by a smart guy who understands that you have to collect ALL of the data to analyze it, even though you only care about the 80-20 rule.

Imagine that, actually reading about a subject a little before spouting your mouth off about something you know absolutely nothing about. Refreshing for the blogosphere, no?

I have to admit I didn't really know much about how large databases analyzed their information before reading Kim's article. Now I know more than 99.999999999% of the asshats breathlessly pontificating, blogging and writing about the NSA phone call number collecting database.

I guess what I am getting at here is that I simply do not understand in this day of credit cards, in store surveillance cameras, highway cameras, cell phones and everything else that a sane, thinking person can even for a second think that their privacy isn't being invaded every moment that they function. I don't know for sure, but I would bet that almost all email is archived somewhere at most businesses for potential lawsuit prevention or the enforcement of non-compete clauses.

Analyzing email data, I would think, would be important. And there would be no reason to read someone's emails that go to addresses like but if emails from your company are going to there may be some cause for concern. Doesn't this make sense?

Instead of rational thought, all we get are the leftist assmonkeys carping about their "loss of privacy" because the NSA has stored somewhere, on some huge database the fact that Joe Hippie made a call to Pizza Hut at 2:37 am. And we have others that say anything the gummint does is OK as long as we are safe. How in hell did we come to the point where sane people actually thought that their "privacy" was anywhere near protected? Are Americans really that dumb? Maybe we are.

ADDED: The comments in Kim's article now have some more great information. The best bit was that back before the supermarket's frequent buyer cards the supermarkets used to just take your license plate, run it and see where you were from. That way they could market to places that they didn't have much traffic from. A man sued over this claiming an invasion of privacy. The judge slapped him down and told him that by driving he was de facto giving up part of his privacy - and that the supermarket could do whatever they wanted, legally, with any information gleaned from their own parking lot (private property).


Anonymous said...

Thank you sir, for the kind mention.


Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Dan from Madison said...

Always a pleasure, Jim.