Is John Poindexter going to get away with it?
We can thank William Safire for steering our attention to a scary government program that has actually been in the works for some time now. The purpose of the program is to develop software that will collect and analyze every possible kind of information about you, using a single centralized government database. All in the name of Homeland Security.
This isn’t some Orwellian scare story. Admiral Poindexter had the idea for the program right after 9/11. He got funding for it from the Defense Department, and he is already sub-contracting the development. The project, called Total Information Awareness, is on a five-year development track. Congress would still have to give final authorization to put it into place. But gee, once all the technology is there, it would be a shame to waste it, right?
Safire writes, “[Poindexter] is determined to break down the wall between commercial snooping and secret government intrusion. The disgraced admiral dismisses such necessary differentiation as bureaucratic ‘stovepiping.’ And he has been given a $200 million budget to create computer dossiers on 300 million Americans.”
Will the government now be allowed to put all the data from separate private and public sources into a single information warehouse? So it’s easy as apple pie to spy on everything we do that has an electronic trail? It’s scary. But there is still time to object. So let’s object.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.