Jun 062013

A lot of people are pretending to be outraged by the “revelation” that the NSA and FBI have requested phone records from Verizon. The records apparently show origin and destination phone numbers, and time/location/duration of calls. I fail to see what the big deal is.

Maybe I’m cynical, or maybe I’m just not deluded, but I’ve always lived under the assumption that government agencies have access to these sorts of records all the time. I’m actually surprised that they have to file official requests. Actually, the fact that they DO file official requests is a good sign! It means that we get to know what they know.

People already have these records. Verizon had them the whole time. Any number of people in Verizon, including the mid-wage office drone who doesn’t really give a fuck, could access this info. Now the circle of people who have this info has been slightly widened, to include people in the NSA/FBI. I guess those who are “outraged” trust Verizon-people implicitly, but distrust government-people? Verizon has less accountability, I’m not sure why they’re trusted more… but I guess they also have less overt power.

Really I’m just calling out what I view as fake outrage. In a society where many people post their every bowel movement onto Twitter for the world to see, and don’t give a damn when the government kidnaps and tortures people then keeps them imprisoned without charge for years, I simply cannot believe that they’d get their panties in a bunch over some people receiving long lists of phone numbers that connected with other phone numbers with <gasp!> time and duration of connection!!

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