Adios, Online Privacy

The National Security Agency, once known for its skill in eavesdropping on the world's telephone calls, is adapting to the times by "focusing on widespread monitoring of e-mail messages and text messages, recording of Web browsing, and other forms of electronic data-mining, all done without court supervision," reports Declan McCullagh. "Taken together, those activities raise unique privacy and oversight concerns greater than those posed by large-scale monitoring of voice communications. ... If the reports are correct, what this transactional-data-dragnet amounts to is a rebuilding of the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program, which promised to do extensive warrantless data-mining to identify 'information signatures' that could identify criminals."