All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

It's not the Surveillence, it's the Misuse of Information

Wasn't it Seinfeld's mailman nemesis Newman who said "When you control information, you control the world?" Well that is the problem President Obama now faces. While there are some arguments against data mining on such as scale it cannot be argued that we must have some weapon against enemies of the nation. Surveillance of the kind now being reported, which is truly amazing in scope, is a way to accomplish that goal. Obama's problem is that he and those that support him have demonstrated they are willing to collect and use illegally obtained data to defeat their political enemies. The IRS scandal clearly shows the extra-prosecution and extended investigation of conservative non-profits during the 2010-2012 period. It is now apparent that Mitt Romney's tax info was obtained illegally by Senator Harry Reed during the election cycle. Is is clear that the IRS audits of conservatives, such as the Koch brothers, was politically motivated. It is also clear that some IRS employees made the confidential tax data of some individuals available to liberal-leaning publications and think thanks. One of the conservative groups awaiting a long three-year struggle for a 6-month 501c process was not only harassed by the IRS, but visited by several federal departments as well. For most Americans this is cheating and while many have gotten used to it, most of us resent it and rightfully so. The only real consolation is that  the scope of the data being collected is so vast, it's unlikely it will be useful except in the rare circumstance, but that doesn't make cheating okay.