Friday, June 02, 2006

Keeping tabs on Oil Wars 

Sorry to interrupt the discussion on Venezuela but there is an important public service announcement for Oil Wars reads that needs to be made. It has just been announced that in an effort to combat terrorism, child pornography, and general lawlessness the U.S. government is probably going to start tracking all the Internet surfing activities of the entire U.S. (and world?) population. That’s right, the revolution may not be televised but it will be tracked by the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Plus Rumsfeld won't want to be left behind so I'm sure the defense intelligence agencies will get their grubby hands in there too.

Why does this affect you - Oil Wars readers? Well, you may not think of this as a "terroristic" site but please remember the powers that be have quite an expansive definition of "terrorism". In fact, anything which "terrifies" the rich, business owners, the U.S. government or South American oligarchs probably qualifies as terrorism.

Hence, you would be wise to start thinking up a good reason what you were doing reading this site. And that goes for you too, opposition readers. Do you really think the highly intelligent people at the F.B.I. are going to buy your story of "I just went there to troll". Not likely. I'd really hate to see someone as uninformed, naive, and just plain silly as Latin Dreams wind up doing hard time in Leavenworth just because he was coming to this site trying to learn a thing or two about Venezuela.

Think this can't be true, that this must all be a figment of O.W.'s imagination? Think again as you read this from today's New York Times:

The Justice Department is asking Internet companies to keep records on the Web-surfing activities of their customers to aid law enforcement, and may propose legislation to force them to do so.

The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a meeting in Washington last Friday where they offered a general proposal on record-keeping to a group of senior executives from Internet companies, said Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the department. The meeting included representatives from America Online, Microsoft, Google, Verizon and Comcast.

The attorney general has appointed a task force of department officials to explore the issue, and that group is holding another meeting with a broader group of Internet executives today, Mr. Roehrkasse said. The department also met yesterday with a group of privacy experts.

The Justice Department is not asking the Internet companies to give it data about users, but rather to retain information that could be subpoenaed through existing laws and procedures, Mr. Roehrkasse said. [hmm. wonder if that will be the same subpoena system they use for wiretaps? - ow]

While initial proposals were vague, executives from companies that attended the meeting said they gathered that the department was interested in records that would allow them to identify which individuals visited certain Web sites and possibly conducted searches using certain terms. [ Today, August 15, 2008, an internet addict who goes by the screen name Pulp was sentenced to 28 consecutive live sentences - one for each time he did a Google search for "Hugo Chavez" - with no possibility of parole. In a nationally televised address President Bush told Americans they should sleep easier knowing their government had "taken a vile accomplice of South American terrorism off the internet". - ow]

It also wants the Internet companies to retain records about whom their users exchange e-mail with, but not the contents of e-mail messages, the executives said. The executives spoke on the condition that they not be identified because they did not want to offend the Justice Department.

Now, before everyone goes and gets all agitated please keep in mind its not going to be easy for them to do this. Whereas a few years ago they could just utter the word "terrorism" or "Osama Bin-Laden" and get whatever they want, eliminating taxes on inheritance, that now seems not to work so well. So they are having to come up with new scare tactics:

In a speech in April, Mr. Gonzales said that investigations into child pornography had been hampered because Internet companies had not always kept records that would help prosecutors identify people who traded in illegal images.

"The investigation and prosecution of child predators depends critically on the availability of evidence that is often in the hands of Internet service providers," Mr. Gonzales said in remarks at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. "This evidence will be available for us to use only if the providers retain the records for a reasonable amount of time," he said.

An executive of one Internet provider that was represented at the first meeting said Mr. Gonzales began the discussion by showing slides of child pornography from the Internet. But later, one participant asked Mr. Mueller why he was interested in the Internet records. The executive said Mr. Mueller's reply was, "We want this for terrorism."

At the meeting with privacy experts yesterday, Justice Department officials focused on wanting to retain the records for use in child pornography and terrorism investigations.

Personally, I'm not all that worried about the child porn angle to this. When I'm checking out a new porn video I am very conscientious and always make sure all the actors involved are over 18. Although I did have a problem one time. Some co-workers and I downloaded a video of some guy having sex with a German Sheppard. The guy was clearly over 18 but the dog we weren't so sure about. Plus we didn't know if for purpose of determining majority age with a dog you are supposed to use human years or doggie years. After spending two hours in vain searching through Wilkepedia trying to figure that out we did the prudent thing, we deleted the file without ever having watched it.

But I am digressing. What I really want to know (and I want to hear from opposition supporters on this) is how in Gods name did this guy get away with showing child pornography in a government meeting without getting arrested? I know if at my job I started off a meeting showing slides of kiddy porn it probably wouldn't take more than 10 minutes for me to escorted out of the building in handcuffs. Yet the chief law enforcement official in the land, the Attorney General of the United States, can sit in an official meeting and look at child pornography!! Your tax dollars hard at work.

So I defy any of our PSP (Pendejos Sin Poder) friends,the same ones that bitch about Chavez breaking the law by wearing a military uniform, to come here and explain how the U.S. is a nation of laws yet it allows top government officials to sit around looking at kiddy porn. If there were truly separation of powers and rule of law how could someone so flagrantly break the law and nothing happens to them? And please tell us how many times Chavez, Rangel, or Isaias Rodriguez have started off meetings with slide shows of child pornography? So, my PSP friends, its put up or shut up time. We're awaiting your explanation.


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