In the focus on telephone call metadata, the media is overlooking a perhaps even more lucrative source of data that the NSA is also collecting or potentially could be collecting: everything that you send over the internet (including VOIP calls), emails, anything in the cloud, and anything that syncs between your smart phone and a network (e.g., your calender and email).
I've been reading a history of insurgency and counterinsurgency operations recently, and the thought came to me that, whether it is currently used for it or not, the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have built a system to counter a domestic insurgency. That is, they have developed a close cooperation between federal military and law enforcement and local law enforcement; they have developed effective means of monitoring communications and movement; and they have data for mapping social networks (speaking of networks between people, not something like Facebook) and creating personality profiles. Now all they need is an insurgency.
And, wittingly or not, they seem intent on creating one. For instance, just looking over links published on Instapundit this morning or yesterday evening, I came across these articles:
--DHS agents conducting unlawful searches of private aircraft.
--An op-ed by Victor Davis Hanson discussing the various lies that have been made by Administration officials over the last several months concerning Benghazi, the NSA data collection, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, etc., and how it undermines democracy.
--An IRS employee admitting that the IRS used a numerical test for deciding whether conservative groups were too political; a test that the IRS had denied been used.
--The IRS targeting was nationwide, not just limited to Cincinnati or, even, Washington D.C.
--An article by Thomas Sowell about government surveillance and the erosion of trust.
--The increasing use of harassment charges against dissent.
This is just one blog in less than one day, and I didn't even pick everything I could have used to support my point.