Friday, June 02, 2006

Let That Eagle Soar II: The Reckoning

Along the lines of Ashcroft being "the good old days" I it sounds like Team Gonzalez is far from finished pushing the DOJ deeper and deeper into Americans' lives and activities.

Big Internet and telephone companies are girding to fight an unprecedented call by the Bush administration for them to keep detailed records of customers' online activities for two years.

The request by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III would dramatically expand the government's ability to track what people do online and with whom they communicate.

It follows disclosure this year that the Justice Department had solicited potentially billions of online search queries from some of the same companies and that the National Security Agency had requested calling records of virtually all U.S. customers.

Gonzales and Mueller asked Google Inc., Time Warner Inc.'s AOL and other companies to preserve the data at a May 26 meeting, citing their value to investigations into child-pornography distribution and terrorism. Internet companies typically keep customer histories for only a few days or weeks.

The Justice Department said Thursday that it was not seeking to have e-mail content archived, just information about the websites people visit and those with whom they correspond.

Beyond law enforcement, though, the trove also could be available to lawyers arguing civil lawsuits — including divorce cases and suits against people suspected of swapping copyrighted movie and music files online. Privacy advocates fear the user histories could be exploited by criminal investigators conducting inappropriate exploration or pursuing minor cases.

Ahhh, Big Government. You're never Big enough for ol' Alberto. Sure, they don't want email "content", they just want to know everyone you've ever emailed and every website you ever visited. This is egregious madness. The idea that Conservatives get up in arms about red-light cameras and let this shit slide, which is just as bad if not incredibly worse, is beyond me. And the idea that any member of the Republicrat Statist Party can honestly stand back and say they'd be comfortable with a Democratic President trying this same bullshit is ludicrous. These naked power grabs should phase us, but why are we even surprised any more? This is par for the course with Alberto Gonzalez and his obsession with being able to call up any information on the communications of any American he wants. And if you think he's going to get a warrant before doing so, please leave me your name and address so I can come to your house and point and laugh at your stupidity. Ashcroft looks like a saint more and more everyday, because this isn't something Gonzalez would think up overnight. It's probably been on his wishlist for the last five years. (H/t: Drum).