Where were you on August 31, 2009? UPDATE
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels June 8, 2013 - 11:06am
And what were you doing? Most Americans are scratching their heads over revelations that the U.S. government in all of its branches has allowed data to be collected from our phones, e-mails, internet connections, and maybe credit cards. The government says it's necessary to protect us. Presumably from Terrorists. What exactly does it look like to be tracked. Well, we don't know because this all goes to a data dump for future investigations--if necessary.
But here's what it might look like: Malte Spitze, a politician from Germany's Green Party, sued Deutsche Telekom, for his records which Zeit on Line rendered into this fascinating graphic covering six months of his phone calls, e-mails, and internet connections. You can follow him from hour to hour, day to day, month to month, and as fast or slow as you please. Take a look.
As I recall Deutsche Telekom owns the U.S. cell phone company T-Mobile, though they have not been mentioned in the list of companies providing data. HT: Pat Lang
UPDATE: Haaretz points to the Israeli connection in all of this. Plot thickens.
And the NY Times has this: Booz Alan is in charge of protecting NSA's secrets and making a lot of money: "Over the last decade, much of the company’s growth has come from selling expertise, technology and manpower to the National Security Agency and other federal intelligence agencies. Booz Allen earned $1.3 billion, 23 percent of the company’s total revenue, from intelligence work during its most recent fiscal year."
Would you believe this if it were in an espionage novel: "the Obama administration’s chief intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., is a former Booz Allen executive. The official who held that post in the Bush administration, John M. McConnell, now works for Booz Allen."
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.