As usual Greg Palast provides a unique perspective on today’s news of NSA spying on almost every single one of us. Greg tells of story of Republican-controlled huckster company ChoicePoint [the company that stole the 200 election for GWB with its phony Florida felons list], a data mining company forming a database of many billions of records on every aspect of our lives [The Spies Who Shag Us]:
Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain’t nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration….
They are paid to keep an eye on you — because the FBI can’t. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you’re suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect if for “commercial” purchases — and under the Bush Administration’s suspect reading of the Patriot Act — our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint….
And now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood. Forget your phone bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened executive of the company told us in confidence, “hope[s] to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States …linked to all the other information held by CP [ChoicePoint]” from medical to voting records.
Be afraid! Be very afraid! The only bright spot is that ChoicePoint seems to be as much a traditional corporate scam as a threat. They get things wrong even when its not necessary:
” And that scares the hell out of me,” said the executive (who has since left the company), because ChoicePoint gets it WRONG so often. We are not contracting out our Homeland Security to James Bond here. It’s more like Austin Powers, Inc. Besides the 97% error rate in finding Florida “felons,” Illinois State Police fired the company after discovering ChoicePoint had produced test “results” on rape case evidence … that didn’t exist. And ChoicePoint just got hit with the largest fine in Federal Trade Commission history for letting identity thieves purchase 145,000 credit card records.
We can only hope that the NSA are actually as incompetent as ChoicePoint. Maybe they don’t know who Greg Palast’s sources are after all. By the way, do you think they know why that pizza I ordered two hours ago never arrived?
May 12th, 2006