Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cartoon #234: “Rings Around Uranus”

Title: Rings Around Uranus; Text: (TV says) The Hubble Space Telescope has found more rings around Uranus. (thought bubble of man in easy chair says) Domestic spying is worse than I thought.

The New York Times reported today that President Bush allowed the National Security Agency to intercept much more domestic communications data than he previously admitted to. Duh. The NSA has long been intercepting all worldwide electronic communications. All U.S. communications are routinely passed through the NSA’s supercomputers sifted with “trip words/phrases”.

This has, of course, been illegal since 1978. But the U.S. government has used a loophole to snoop on every citizen. Through secret reciprocal agreements with certain allies, like Great Britain, the U.S. intercepts their communications and shares it with their intelligence agencies, and they intercept ours and share it with our intelligence agencies. After 9/11, their has been no need to hide behind this “snoophole”.

In “other” news this week, astronomers discovered two new rings around the planet Uranus. The NSA’s ability to listen to all worldwide telecommunications is nothing compared to the National Reconnaissance Office’s use of space telescopes for spying on everyone. But that discussion remains taboo.

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