1.27.2006

Free calling!

Cringely is not so worried about what the NSA program is actually doing, although the principle bothers him (not enough, in my view). But I really like the story at the end of the quote :

"So why couldn't they just tell us? Why couldn't they have simply amended the FISA law to take such activities into account? Because they like to be sneaky, tend to distrust even the people who pay them (that's us), and because they for some reason think that the bad guys won't figure this out for themselves.

Duh.

This is far from the first instance of such unartful phone tapping, as my friend Mike Class reports from Chicago. Though I didn't know it until we'd been e-mailing back and forth for years, Mike is the Socius to the Provincial -- effectively the number two Jesuit in the Windy City:

'Here's one more tidbit on wire-taps: They get you free phone service! The feds tapped the phone of the Sisters of Mercy in Washington D.C. because of some anti-war stance or something they took in the 1980s. The good sisters noticed some kind of clicking on the phone at times, and finally decided that someone must have tapped into their phone. Their solution: Don't pay the bill so the phone company will have to shut off the phone. The phone never went dead, and they quit sending them bills! The Feds wouldn't let Ma Bell shut them down, and probably began paying the bills. The sisters talked long and free with their friends across the country!'"

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