Bob's Links and Rants

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Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Turning the tables on Poindexter: SF Weekly's Matt Smith suggests that people use their sources to look closely into the lives of Admiral John Poindexter, his wife and neighbors, to make a point about Poindexter's office of "Total Information Awareness" in the Pentagon. This site follows through with detailed maps locating Poindick's house and names and phone numbers for his neighbors.

I think maybe similar attention is due to some of the others who are making America a scarier place to live: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Ted Olson, Michael Powell, Henry Kissinger, etc. Maybe we buy them gift memberships in the socialist and communist parties, give donations to Islamic charities in their names, subscribe them to radical publications, etc. Maybe create web pages that link their names with al Qaeda, terrorism, Iraq, and so on. Nothing illegal or false, just an attempt to make their names show up in google searches or in all sorts of strange places in the "Total Information Awareness" databases. A web page that says simply "Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Ted Olson, Michael Powell and Henry Kissinger are probably not members of al Qaeda, nor are they working for the government of Iraq." Place a few hundred thousand such pages all over the Internet and many searches for "al Qaeda" or "Iraq" will mention their names. Hey, this blog is a start!

On the flip side, our best protection from TIA is probably not in trying to hide but in trying to be overly visible. Don't be afraid to check out library books on Islam or ones which have a radical message: just check out a lot of them, and throw in some right-wing crap (Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson) and some off-the-wall stuff from time to time. You don't have to read it--just drop it in the book return on your way out of the library. Find a right-wing website and click on all of the links, following their links. Again, you don't have to read the crap, but anyone reviewing where you've been on the web will be confused. (Well, he visited "Bob's Links and Rants" forty-seven times, so he's probably a left-wing pinko, but then again he visited "George W. Bush is God" fifty-one times, so maybe he's okay.) Make investigating YOU a difficult and tedious task.

This is really more an idea I'm throwing out there rather than a suggestion: what do you think? Are we better off paying cash for everything, web surfing anonymously on public computers only, and in general making ourselves as invisible as possible? Or do we follow my idea above and make ourselves so visible in so many ways that we overload their system, making any attempt to figure us out from their databases difficult? Or just go on as we have been and take our chances that we don't get that knock on the door at 3 am or have our lives otherwise destroyed by the new Gestapo?