Several civil-rights watchdog groups have professed a strong curiosity regarding the methods and liberties the Federal Bureau of Investigation will have at their disposal in this new age of vigilance. But there have always been questions like that; how can we ever be sure that our government has our best interests at heart, and will act accordingly?
I maintain that if the government should be involved in protection, it should be guarding the people against threats — internal or external; not having to dedicate resources against rhetoric and politics for politics’ sake.
Parameters must be clearly defined, with no unrealistic levels of complexity (are you listening, IRS?). Millions of taxpayer dollars outside the budget should not be necessary to intervene; if anything appears so convoluted that it requires the appointment of a questioning body or committee, it should be re-engineered so that there is no more a lack of clarity to a department’s goals, mission, and methodology.
Then the agencies of our government can spend their energies (and our money) on biting the heads off the real threats to life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Without distraction.
Section 309 of the proposed Patriot Act (PDF file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) makes it clear that computer-related crimes would only become an act of terrorism if those crimes are “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion; or to retaliate against government conduct.”
Hmmm… it seems to me that defines Microsoft, along with Bill Gates specifically, as a terrorist threat.