People close to the Pentagon’s research program said Dr. Poindexter was acutely aware of the power and the invasiveness of his experimental surveillance system. In private conversations this summer, according to several Department of Defense contractors, he raised the possibility that the control of the Total Information Awareness system should be placed under the jurisdiction of an independent, nongovernmental organization like the Red Cross because of the potential for abuse.

Hello. If I don’t write again before tomorrow, I hope you all have a very nice Christmas, or whatever consumption-oriented holiday it is that you celebrate… My friend Dave just told me that 1 in 200 Americans work for Wallmart… Now go out and consume.

I’m in a bad mood today, and Joe Strummer from the Clash is dead…

The New York Times yesterday ran another story on Total Information Awareness and how close it actually is to being a reality. Here are a few clips. The title of the article was “Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running.”

In the Pentagon research effort to detect terrorism by electronically monitoring the civilian population, the most remarkable detail may be this: Most of the pieces of the system are already in place.

Because of the inroads the Internet and other digital network technologies have made into everyday life over the last decade, it is increasingly possible to amass Big Brother-like surveillance powers through Little Brother means. The basic components include everyday digital technologies like e-mail, online shopping and travel booking, A.T.M. systems, cellphone networks, electronic toll-collection systems and credit-card payment terminals. In essence, the Pentagon’s main job would be to spin strands of software technology that would weave these sources of data into a vast electronic dragnet.

And here’s another quote.

If you’d like to read the entire story, click here.

There’s lots of stuff I want to say, but I can’t focus. I’m taping copies of our “Adventures of Pete and Pete” tapes for our friend Cristina, so the TV is on, and linette’s listening to NPR in the kitchen, where she’s cooking up holiday treats. I can’t focus through all the competing sounds and smells.

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