Thursday, July 04, 2013

Postal Spy Network

Let's make a couple of simple points first, the price of postage could be halved if the NSA didn't insist on logging all the data of every piece of mail sent. Postal delivery would be faster too.

This isn't the first time the US government has intruded on the privacy of the mail. During World War II, mail sent home by soldiers was opened and read by censors to insure no secret war plans were revealed. The big difference is it wasn't done in secret, everybody knew the government was censoring the mail. Every single piece of mail was clearly stamped to show a censor had handled it before it was delivered.

The current NSA postal spying is part of their effort to build comprehensive dossiers on every American in the event they might, one day for some reason, want to arrest someone.  And the NSA does this in secret because they last thing they want is for the American people to know how much of their lives are being recorded by the government with the intent of using it against them at some point.
Technology allows for so much more in depth spying on citizens. In the old days, for example, the East German Stasi had to keep millions of reel to reel audio tapes of every citizen's phone call that had to be listened to by secret police officers.  Today, the data can be kept digitally and monitored by complex algorithms looking for patterns. Computers can choose who to target for intimidation with minimal human involvement.

Its a brave, new world we live in and one that Erich Honecker could only dream of.

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