Database monitor far from a…

Database monitor far from a reality

As I’ve been surmising here, the Bushies plan to monitor us is probably unworkable.

“The Pentagon project to find terrorists by searching the electronic records of all Americans, from credit-card transactions to medical files, has alarmed civil libertarians. The idea conjures up images of George Orwell’s all-knowing Big Brother, able to peek into every corner of life, invading the privacy of anyone without check.

But some experts say the real danger is that the Pentagon will create a computerized version of the inept French detective Inspector Clouseau. They say the project, called Total Information Awareness, will point the finger at the wrong people and in the wrong direction. It will make associations that don’t exist, falsely accusing innocent people while letting terrorists go undetected.

“It’s hard to imagine it’s going to work very well,” said Eamonn Keogh, an assistant computer-science professor at the University of California-Riverside. “It’s an extraordinarily ambitious thing.”

There’s a pattern here. The U.S. government really goes for what I call the Omnipotent Eye in the Sky approach, which is their attempt to monitor and control by use of superior technology with an all-seeing eye, and little or no actual humans on the ground. You see this approach in Total Information Awareness wanting to know everything we buy or do and also in warfare with the use of carpet bombing and unmanned drones.

Our lack of sufficient intel on the ground in Afghanistan allowed bin Laden to leave unnoticed by our Eye in the Sky. Technology clearly, can’t do it all.