The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ever wonder exactly who is reading your blog? You may never know for sure, but if some in the intelligence community have their way, your online scribblings may soon be regular reads for the FBI, CIA and various other spook groups.
"News and intelligence is about listening with a critical ear, and blogs are just another conversation to listen to and evaluate. They also are closer to (some situations) and may serve as early alerts," said Jock Gill, a former adviser on Internet media to President Clinton, in a later phone interview, after he spoke on the panel.
Keeping in mind the less-than-flattering reports about the inner workings of the U.S. intelligence organizations in the wake of 9/11, the idea of the nation's spy network using blogs in their datamining efforts doesn't exactly inspire confidence from me. I can just picture future Congressional hearings:

SENATOR: You say you were monitoring the activities regularly, but the attack took place as scheduled anyway? How do you account for that?

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: We felt we had reliable information on the situation from "", Senator. I mean, they posted something new two or three times a day, even on weekends! I admit that, in hindsight, that unannounced one-week hiatus he took from blogging should have tipped us off that something was imminent...

Yup, the thought of operatives actively monitoring a bunch of teenage schoolgirls' LiveJournal angst blogs is pretty darned funny.

Oh damn, I guess most of what I just wrote is liable to get me on some watchlist. If I abruptly stop posting, you'll know why. Tell the world my story.