Connectedness, Betweenness, Closeness???
September 22, 2006 11:34 PM   Subscribe

Big Brother 101 -- Could your social networks brand you an enemy of the state? (Popular Science Mag) And one staffer finds out it might--due to a connection to the Buffalo Six. Think 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with tapping and surveillance and worse at the other end.
posted by amberglow (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Haven't they been doing this since before 9/11 even? I mean with warrants and everything? The idea of feds figuring out who is 'sort of' related to A.Q. has obviously been going on for a while.

The question now is whether or not they have just started doing this without warrants, which they probably have.

Also the author of the piece doesn't have any evidence that she is a target, she just thinks she has, which isn't really that interesting.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 AM on September 23, 2006

Sorry, all. I really should have thought of you guys before buying that Osama bin Laden t-shirt.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:29 AM on September 23, 2006

Tossing all the constitutional issues out the window, mass wiretapping is entirely useless because the authorities can't do anything until a crime has been committed. Basically all they are promising is that if there is another huge attack, they'll know which bodies to arrest.
posted by ubnya at 12:37 AM on September 23, 2006

wow.. great post
posted by tonygarcia at 12:46 AM on September 23, 2006

ubnya, you guys have detention without trial, and removal to other countries where suspects can be tortured. Why on earth do you think that your current government will wait until a crime has been committed before they arrest? Indeed, what little justification you have for extraordinary rendition and all the rest of your recent human rights abuses is the chance to nip something in the bud.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:48 AM on September 23, 2006

I wonder how long it will be until they start extracting people who are unfortunately-connected and look suspicious?

They'll get written confessions from these people. Bureaucrats hate to be wrong, you know.
posted by Malor at 1:56 AM on September 23, 2006

Ah that is just a tool for more terror :) We know you are a commie because your aunt went to bed with a commie !

Not that terrible, but far worse is what is happening in italy biggest telecom carrier, details here and also here

It is so terrible for anybody with some power that the left government immediately legislated (with complete right-opposition SUPPORT) that information obtained by illegal wiretap can't be POSSESSED..and far worse measure for publication of such information , going as far as making the published pay for each copy PRINTED ! Not even distributed or sold , just printed !

Clearly power concentration, political and private, are infinitely afraid of what could happen if the files were to be divulged on the internet or on press , but as they can't possibily know if they will ever come out, they just made them AT LEAST irrelevant in any national court.
posted by elpapacito at 4:47 AM on September 23, 2006

I don't think this would fall under a legal heading of 'wiretapping.' It's just node analysis, and could be used to go to a judge to apply for a wiretap. Okay, 'go to a judge' is so passe.
If someone wants information, and is not worried about a conviction, this would give them alternative sources of information. If it's never used in court, then all arguments against 'fruit of the poisoned tree' are null.
In court, it might be used for an 'inevitable discovery' argument. For example, "Okay, the wiretap on Bob might have been illegal, but this chart shows that we'd have been tapping Bill legally by the next day, so the conversation is admissable.'
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:09 AM on September 23, 2006

Following up:

Your phone records are for sale

If you can buy somebodies phone records without there consent, there can't be any (legal) objection to making a list or diagram of who they have talked to.

It seems like you are legally allowed privacy as to the content of your conversations, not the fact that you had them.

A tangent to watch out for: I have heard that most arrests on a warrent are done when the subject is pulled over in a car, so I wouldn't be surprised if legislation requiring GPS systems in cars. For traffic purposes, of course. Sort of like the one in your cell phone.
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:30 AM on September 23, 2006

Shouldn't this be labeled Big Brother 2.0?
posted by String at 7:41 AM on September 23, 2006

I don't think this would fall under a legal heading of 'wiretapping.'

The wiretapping happens after the analysis-- if the right connections are found, i believe.
posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on September 23, 2006

posted by quonsar at 1:09 PM on September 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

i don't count, q? : P
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on September 23, 2006

It's good to see the implications of SNA getting more exposure, thanks for the post amberglow. It can be frustrating being too far ahead of the curve; even when you're right, nobody knows what you're talking about. Between pieces like this & TV shows like Six Degrees (which I haven't watched & have no opinion on as far as quality goes, so don't bother telling me it sucks), people are starting to learn the core idea that fuels SNA, that society is a network. It's a new mindset & takes some getting used to.

FYI, I've finallty gotten my act together & started working on the first of my own SNA projects, which should be ready for unveiling in a few months.
posted by scalefree at 5:49 PM on September 23, 2006

definitely post it in projects when it's ready, scale.
posted by amberglow at 11:15 AM on September 24, 2006

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