AlterNet: Will the Real U.S. Government Please Stand Up?

Steve Pizzo at AlterNet:

I've never doubted for a second that the government would spy on its own citizens — any government — not just ours. Information is, as the saying goes, power — always has been, always will be. So, as much as my civil libertarian side hates it, the realist in me shrugs each time a new piece of evidence surfaces that they are up to doing just that.

Or more precisely trying to do just that.

As I downed the final dregs of a cold Corona the other day, I recalled all the stories I had written over the years about monumentally expensive failed government computer system upgrades. In fact, hard as I thought, I couldn't recall a single story lauding a government agency for a successful computer project. Not one. Ever….

Which brings me to the theme of this rant.

Will the real U.S. government please stand up?

  • Are you the black-helicopter flying, eyes in the sky, ears to the ground, all-knowing Big Brother government?
  • Or are you really the Maxwell Smart, bumbling, money-wasting, last-to-know-anything government?

Help me out here.For starters, I find it difficult to imagine that it can be both at once. Are we to believe that within the same government whose top national police agency, the FBI, can't install a computer system that works, another agency, the NSA, can? It's possible, but nothing in my direct experience with government agencies would cause me to believe it.

Read more here.


About James G. Milles

Professor of Law, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Posted on May 23, 2006, in Politics, Privacy, Rights, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: