From Steve Asher@3:800/432 to All on Sun May 14 01:57:01 2006
The Times and USA Today have Missed the Bigger Story -- Again
By Greg Palast
05/12/06 -"ICH" - -I know you're shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that George
Bush is listening in on all your phone calls. Without a warrant.
That's nothing. And it's not news.
This is: the snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the
pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's
Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond
the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can
call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described
as the creation of a private KGB.
The leader in the field of what is called "data mining," is a company,
formed in 1997, called, "ChoicePoint, Inc," which has sucked up over a
billion dollars in national security contracts.
Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom?
That ain't nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking
this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire
personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting
registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had
already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans -- and I know
they've expanded their ops at an explosive rate.
They are paid to keep an eye on you -- because the FBI can't. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you're
suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect if for "commercial" purchases -- and under the
Bush Administration's suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our
domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint.
And now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood. Forget your phone
bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened executive of the company told us in
confidence, "hope[s] to build a database of DNA samples from every
person in the United States ...linked to all the other information
held by CP [ChoicePoint]" from medical to voting records.
But how can they get Americans to give up our personal files, our
phone logs, our DNA and our rights? Easy. Fear sells better than sex --
and they want you to be afraid. Back to today's New York Times, page
28: "Wider Use of DNA Lists is Urged in Fighting Crime." And who is
providing the technology? It comes, says the Times, from the work done
on using DNA fragments to identity victims of the September 11 attack.
And who did that job (for $12 million, no bid)? ChoicePoint, Inc.
Which is NOT mentioned by the Times.
"Genetic surveillance would thus shift from the individual [the
alleged criminal] to the family," says the Times -- which will
require, of course, a national DNA database of NON-criminals.
It doesn't end there. Turn to the same newspaper, page 23, with a
story about a weird new law passed by the state of Georgia to fight
illegal immigration. Every single employer and government agency will
be required to match citizen or worker data against national databases
to affirm citizenship. It won't stop illegal border crossing, but hey, someone's going to make big bucks on selling data. And guess what
local boy owns the data mine? ChoicePoint, Inc., of Alpharetta,
And that's their program. They get the data mine -- and we get the shaft.
Greg Palast is author of Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War, out June 6. You can order
it now. ( http://www.gregpalast.com/armedmadhouse/preorder.html )