Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Faster Than You Can Say NSA

On Democracy Now!'s Monday headlines, Amy Goodman reported on the WSJ disclosure about Internet surveillance in Iran being aided by Siemen's and Nokia. Later that afternoon NPR had a far more detailed report on the same topic. All in all, nothing wrong with that - but I couldn't help thinking there was something familiar about the ominous technology described in the report:
"It involves the insertion of hardware into the flow of online data, allowing Tehran to search each and every digital packet of information for keywords."
Somewhere in my memory I could have sworn that there was another government somewhere that engaged in the unlawful surveillance of "the contents of all the electronic voice and data communications" passing through AT&T. Well, dang, if it wasn't my own government rooting around in our Internet and phone traffic! As the link to the ABC blog indicates, the story broke way back in May of 2006 and offered some startling and (dare I say) ominous details that seemed awfully similar to what the Iranian government is now doing. Given that this was in our own country and clearly was in violation of existing surveillance laws, surely NPR was on it right away. The source of the May 2006 story was whistleblower, Mark Klein. Let's see when NPR got around to bringing him on: November 7, 2007 - not bad, just under a year and a half!

There seems to be an interesting prioritizing system at work at NPR: if it's a story indicating criminal behavior by the US Government against its citizens - that goes in the Ho Hum We'll Get Around to it Eventually queue, but if the story reflects poorly on a State Department approved enemy, it zips right to the front of the line. However, if the story reflects really badly on Uncle Sam - as whistleblower Russell Tice's allegations do, that Get Around to it Eventually queue can actually end up being Never At All.


gopol said...

Good call:

We're sorry, your search returned no results.

Would you like to search for words which sound like Russell Tice?

Another example of this is the extensive covering of the schemes of Russia and Iran to control oil and natural gas to Europe while giving extremely scant coverage of, say, Unocal's pipeline through Central Asia.

bIg!pInk!fUzzy!bUnny! said...

Nice try, Gopey. Thank you for playing NoPR oblivion roulette.


Reminds me of NPR's coverage of the US Iraq anti-war demonstrations, usually one story that featured the handful of pro-war counter demonstrators.

More fun with NPR search.

For example, per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_15,_2003_anti-war_protest

"Millions of people protested in approximately 800 cities around the world. According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million.[1][2]

Some of the largest protests took place in Europe. The protest in Rome involved around 3 million people, and is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history."

Check out NPR,


TWO Stories!

To paraphrase this blogs prior post: "Some protests are more equal than others."

scottindallas said...

You really miss this story entirely. Yes we talked about these programs. But this goes back before Bush and the wiretapping that he was doing, according to Democrats. But, this is essentially the Echelon and Carnivore programs that James Banford wrote about in his book, Body of Secrets back in 2000. So this program was running under the Clinton administration and was likely started under Bush Sr.