Yahoo! News – Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials

Yahoo! News – Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials
“…some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what’s reported in some blogs is questionable.”

I’m sure some people will be offended by this or think their privacy is being invaded. My first thought was, “what the hell? ” Bu after another 15 seconds I thought…well, we expect politicians (the gubbmint in other words) to read the editorial pages, right?

Sure enough.. “One such critic is James Love, director of the Ralph Nader (news – web sites)-affiliated Consumer Project on Technology.

“When you’re conducting surveillance where you have no expectation of illegal activity, there has to be some threshold to justify such surveillance,” Love said. ”

So what’s the threshold for watching the nightly news or reading the newspaper. Everyone out there with a blog was inspired at least partly by folks like Matt Drudge who fought hard to be recognized as ‘legitimate’ journalists. Would it make sense to say, “When you’re watching Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather on the nightly news, where you have no expectation of illegal activity, there has to be some threshold to justify such surveillance.”? Of course not.

What I find much more troubling is this:

” At least one nation, China, is actively tracking blogs. It’s also reportedly trying to block blogs. Several press reports earlier this year said the government shut two blogging services and banned access to all Web logs by Chinese citizens.”

If China can somehow filter out blogs, what’s to stop other governments from filtering material they don’t like. (Granted, even with the CAN-SPAM Act, the FTC can’t seem to blog 300 viagra ads a day from my email.) Gubbmint, read away, but if you block my access, then we have a real Constitutional issue.

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