J. Grant, one the creators behind my new favorite webcomic, went on a rant this morning
(or whenever he writes his blog portion of the post.) Future readers may need to back up to the 6/10/2013 strip about lonesome losers cleaning guns and scroll down to the blog post.
The focus of Mr. Grant's ire is the recent revelations about NSA programs, specifically PRISM, which I'll admit to not understanding quite a clearly as I do "phone record metadata." Why do I understand phone record metadata? Because it's what I use every single day to troubleshoot subscriber tickets. The friendly voice answering your call about your phone service at any wireless carrier has access to your metadata. Of course, we ask
at the top of a call if we have your permission to use data specific to you (though we mean it to market new goods and services.)
Of course, the government asked when they ran the Patriot Act up the flagpole and everyone saluted. Me, I remember a lot of shouting down of mealy-mouthed civil rights people who did object because we hadda catch bad guys!
Anyway, my point is that (a) if you didn't see this coming with the passage of the Patriot Act, you weren't paying attention; (b) if you expected Obama or any other administration following the Bush crowd to do things differently with respect to the Patriot Act, you're either too young or too naive and I'll give you maybe one more administration before you get it and (c) the phone calls at least shouldn't worry you because all metadata tells the government is the same thing it tells me: who made a call at a specific time in a general area of a specific market. It gives them a place to start looking for bad guys. Federal and local governments have had permission to seek warrants for phone tapping through CALEA since years before the Patriot Act was even a fever dream.