Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
“An Information Society Is a Society Made Up of Informers”—Bruce Sterling
Russ Kick of The Memory Hole points to an article in The Financial Times (subscription required), "US Turns to Private Sector for Spies." The article includes this quote from a Mr. Tittle who once worked for the NSA: "An awful lot of activity has been outsourced. Anything that has to do with collection or analysis of intelligence data is being done by the private sector." Kick comments that while no one is certain whether it actually saves the government any money to shift intelligence work to the private sector (though doubtless this is the primary pretext for the shift, which is accelerating rapidly under the present Bush Adminsitration), what is beyond doubt is that the shift is making it more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to determine just what the spooks are up to. Unlike the CIA, the NSA, and the rest of the Alphabet Soup Spook Archipelago, private corpoations are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. When freedom rings, expect the phone to be tapped.