The Matrix Has You (and Sauron is Watching, Too)

Feds Doing More Secret Searches
By Julia Scheeres

“A record number of searches and wiretap orders granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2002 underscores a growing trend of reliance on the secret court in government investigations, privacy advocates say.”

Bush’s Year of U.S. Surveillance
By Noah Shachtman

“It may seem unreasonable, unfair and downright mean-spirited to compare the Bush administration to the minions of Sauron, the granddaddy of evil in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But here goes.”

Feds Defend Data-Mining Plans
Plans to collect info on U.S. citizens do not pose privacy problems, lawmakers say.
By Grant Gross

WASHINGTON — Leaders of two much-criticized projects that privacy advocates fear will collect massive amounts of data on U.S. residents defended those projects before the U.S. Congress Tuesday, saying the projects will be much more limited in scope than opponents fear.

Privacy Threat in Primary Colors
By Joanna Glasner

“SAN FRANCISCO — While the U.S. terrorism threat alert level is still stubbornly stuck at orange, a watchdog group says the risk that citizens face of intrusions to privacy remains at a less worrisome yellow.”

Secret Service Questions Students

“OAKLAND (KRON) — Some teachers in Oakland are rallying behind two students who were interrogated by the Secret Service. That followed remarks the teenagers made about the President during a class discussion. The incident has many people angry.”

Pentagon Defends Data Search Plan
By Ryan Singel

“The Pentagon submitted a report to Congress on Tuesday that said the Total Information Awareness program is not the centralized spying database its critics say it is.”

U.S. promises limits on computer dragnet

“A controversial Defense Department program that would comb computer records to identify potential terrorists will have safeguards to ensure that it does not violate individual rights, the Pentagon said Tuesday.”

“Responding to concerns that its Total Information Awareness program would allow unfettered surveillance, the Pentagon said in a report to Congress that the program would have built-in mechanisms to ensure that it did not intrude on Americans’ privacy.”