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Friday, May 12, 2006

Obsfucation and The NSA

As I'm reading my morning paper, and hearing the high pitched whine from DC and elsewhere on the latest info on the NSA surveillence program, I can't help but think we need a quick perspective check.

For instance, did you know if you work in a Daycare, school, nursing home, or other "care facility" that requires a criminal background check that every day, possibly a dozen times, you are compared to felons by the federal government?

Did you know that if you've ever been arrested, even if you weren't convicted, every day you are checked against a list of criminals to see if you are one?

If you've ever been in the military, law enforcement, or held a government or contract job that required a clearance you are checked regularly against wanted criminals.

If you were in the military after about 1994 your DNA is checked, usually multiple times daily, by the federal crime labs against rape and other crime suspects.

Eugene Robinson and Dick Durbin aren't going to mention these things to you, as they bloviate on the op/ed pages and in front of TV cameras, because if they did, the idea that phone records are checked for matches on numbers of known terrorist operators suddenly becomes less dramatic.

The truth is, large numbers of us, with no involvement in any crimes are checked, often dozens of times a day in different ways against criminals or suspected criminals. It's been that way for years. Every person who's ever been fingerprinted for a background check at a job is in a huge federal database already. If you've given a DNA sample to the military, you are there.

That's why the NSA datamining operation doesn't bother me; because we've been doing it for years to find other criminals, even with phone records. They are pulled regularly to see who suspects in criminal investigations have been calling. It's not like it's something new.

Riehl World View has a great article up about how this program could have helped prevent the 9/11 tragedy.

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Blogger Lone Pony said...

Hmmm...maybe that's why I have to get a second check when buying a gun. A couple of times now, my background check has been flagged because I've come back as a large black girl with scars on her face and a criminal record. Hey! No scars! And I'm PINK! lol

Good point CP. It's good to have someone like you giving the WHOLE story.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Hey, You aren't Pink, she's a singer :)

6:06 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

The people who have nothing to hide shouldn't worry about a quick check. If being checked would save a single life I would stand up and say "Here I am, come check."

A lot of people who do not Bush with the power would trust Hillary with it and to be honest, I would not trust Madam Hillary with that power. It is partly distrust of the other side.

5:28 PM  

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