Raided for googling about pressure cookers and backpacks


Not only does law enforcement and NSA apparently monitor everything we do online (thanks to the ever helpful Google, among others) they also, it is clear, just aren’t very smart. The following story shows the stupidity of the current approach of monitoring everything. First off, there there are many false positives. Plus, actual terrorists are generally caught by on- the-ground police work, informants, and skullduggery. And not by thinking that googling “pressure cookers” and “backpacks” means someone is going to blow something up.

Michele Catalano was googling about pressure cookers because she wanted to cook quinoa. Her son had been reading articles about the Boston bombers and clicking through to bomb-making articles. Her husband also googled at work, and his employer called the police about searches (that most anyone might do in aftermath of Boston Bombing.)

Their home was raided by six heavily armed police wanting to know about the pressure cookers, among other things.

Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.

So, not only was their raid a waste of resources and time, they also alienate the public they claim to be protecting with their Keystone Cops antics. This also shows just how deeply Google is embedded into NSA. Indeed, it’s said Google never deletes any data. Why is that? How long have they been in bed with NSA?