Gossip for your Own Good 041311
From the “you can’t be paranoid enough” department of the Fringe Suspicious Government Behavior files.
Hitler kept data on citizens in shoe boxes.
The U.S. government has, for the last four years or so, been keeping what some might call the “odd person” database. Thanks to the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, we now have a Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Database (NSARD) to store the Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) received by local cops, state police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
What’s super special about the database is that it can accept every allegation as fact. It functions without the fetters of protections like “probable cause”. All that’s necessary to make a report is ”observed behavior reasonably indicative of pre-operational planning related to terrorism or other criminal activity”.
What constitutes “reasonable”? Let’s guess it’s what is reasonable to someone who thinks everyone is a criminal as a professional duty.
What constitutes “criminal activity”? Breaking any law.
What constitutes “pre-operational planning”? An angry letter to the editor? A threat made to a neighbor in the heat of anger? A disparaging remark against the government?
Primarily what is required is that the “suspect” is “suspicious” to someone who is assumed to be upright: cops, resentful in-laws, Gladys Kravitz busybodies; in short, good, decent, non-suspicious people.
Am I wrong that there are plenty of crimes that have already happened? Can’t the cops work to solve them, must they “accumulate” data on Americans who have, by definition, not committed a crime, but simply might?
Some of my Dearest Friends are koolaid drinking cop loving suspicious person suspecting people, and believe me, you don’t want them on your butt. I’m sure some of them have the Department of Fatherland Security on speed dial.
In case there aren’t enough rumors, there is a community outreach initiative called the Building of Community Trust initiative.
Our constitutional rights are protected by the ISE-SARs PCRCLPP, the FCPPD and a host of other bureaucratic procedures which probably prevent you from finding out what they have on you, but no doubt allow anyone with a government title to access the data.
To be sure, the entire process is intended to protect the civil rights and privacy of the odd. However, having received that assurance, a couple of issues arise.
First, isn’t it already a violation of a person’s privacy to have the government keeping a rumor database about them?
Second, how, exactly, does someone in Washington D.C. keep Gladys from peeping at people?
Third, the government already has the information, what difference does it make at that point if anyone else gets it?
The information is checked by people who really know their way around rumor and gossip, and know how to take a badly worded concern from a private citizen and tease out the possibilities of criminal activity preoperational planning. In the process, everyone’s privacy is protected by the training these government snoops receive.
Gladys from Bewitched. She’s become an ideal type.
10 Tips for the odd
1. Get a regular haircut
2. Go to the department store and buy whatever clothes other people your age and gender (very important!) are buying.
3. Never, ever buy nails, a short piece of 2” pipe, and 2 end caps in the same visit to the home center.
4. Take some time out to gossip with your neighbors. You can’t be suspicious if you’re gossiping about others who are behaving suspiciously. IMPORTANT: don’t talk about yourself.
5. Avoid staring at others, particularly the old and the young.
6. Try to breathe through your nose.
7. Buy a print newspaper, read it every day, and don’t think about anything you didn’t see in the news.
8. When you talk to people, try to stay on topic.
9. Try not to laugh when no one else is laughing.
10. Never voice your opinion in letter to the editor columns. The FBI and DHS read every newspaper, they even read the Prospect. Not the Messenger, though, obviously, or Don Russell would be in a gulag somewhere.
There isn’t much else you can do; if you try to find out if they have any suspicious reports on you they consider that suspicious and create a file. If you haven’t done anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about!
It’s hard to imagine a free nation that allows this kind of data gathering. We recall that the citizens of the old Soviet Union were encouraged to report “suspicious behavior” too. I guess the average Russian wasn’t able to do any more about government data gathering than we are.
And, don’t bother to report your Fringe editor! The DHS is a subscriber!
Go Here to learn more about government data gathering and blending centers.
They were Homeland Security when Homeland Security wasn’t cool!