As far as the vast majority of us are concerned, there’s not much to worry about. Nobody at the NSA is interested in the call you made to your Mom, or even to the call you made to your mistress. Don’t kid yourself: you’re not that interesting.I've got news for Mr. du Toit: I'm plenty freakin' interesting. I'm so interesting that the Founding Fathers thought I was the most interesting person in the country, and they wrote a whole list of things the .gov couldn't do to me, some of which involved searches and warrants and stuff. Anything that makes folks twitchy on that angle deserves a better defense than "They won't stick it in too far."
Second, of course, is the whole usual "Terminally Stupid", "bloviating", "clueless" nature of folks on the other side of the debate. Now, I know that the whole vein-pounding-in-the-forehead, spittle-on-the-monitor thing is as much a part of his schtick as it is mine, but at the same time, one needs to look at the folks one is calling names. I mean (to use just a couple examples,) SayUncle and Marko are neither one of them exactly stool pigeons for the Democrat National Committee. Plus, I know them both in meatspace as well as via their writing, and would feel pretty comfortable putting either one up against Kim in a spellin' bee, so the "Stupid" insults ring a little hollow here.
A better tack to take would be this: 1) Does this really surprise anyone? I read The Anarchist's Cookbook for the first time back in seventh or eighth grade, and I clearly remember it saying "Never say anything on the phone you wouldn't say to a cop's face." Now, I wasn't particularly anarchic or criminal or anything as a middle-schooler, but that's the kind of advice that tends to stick with one. When someone tells me that Big Brother's been jotting down my call logs, it's hard for me to be shocked when I've subconciously held the idea from childhood that he was listening to all of them. And 2) Even in a perfect Libertarian wolkencuckcuckland, the telcos are private entities and you won't own the wire your call is going over or the electricity that's vibrating it. What's to keep Ma Bell from selling that data to a market research firm, or your boss, or Dr. Evil?
Anyhow, while I see where Kim's trying to come from, his last paragraph,
But I have to tell you, I am really glad that someone at the NSA was doing their job, and began to collect the data a long time ago—because otherwise it would now be gone, and we’d be behind the curve, just as we were on 9/10/2001.stinks a bit too much of Victory Gin at the Chestnut Tree Cafe for my tastes. While I'm not as outraged as Marko or SayUncle, I wish I was.