Getting This Down?

/. is carrying a story about how the US Department of Justice is apparently seeking to require every Internet Service Provider to log -- and retain -- all the internet activity of its subscriber's. That means every email, every website, every everything, logged, and available for perusal by our governement (who's only purpose is to guarantee our liberties, right?).

I don't normally write overtly about this stuff here, but sometimes I just can't help it. I am enough of a student of history, political philosophy and technology to know I don't like where things are going. I also feel pretty powerless to do anything, so writing about it seems better than just sitting here.

This quote sums up how I feel about this kind of approach to our "security":

"Personally, this is rediculous. If someone wants to commit crimes,they will find a way. This just reduces our liberties and privacy.Isn't this really what the terrorists wanted all along? A paranoidcountry spending tons of money on the mere thought of an attack? widespread panics? companies going out of business due to new regulations?This is what the terrorists wanted. All it took was 19 guys to turn usinto our own worst enemy."

(I added the link to the shirky article, because I think he does a good job of explaining why government is necessary -- even in the context of small social groups -- but the words are the slashdot poster's)

Update: One other thing that is typically disturbing about this is how, while the DOJ allegedly wants this to pursue terrorists, the meeting where this was raised was with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Its amazing how well the one-two punch of "we must stop the terrorists" and "do it for the children" works to justify any action -- without need to prove its effectiveness or recognize its collateral effect.

And so we will end this polemic with a quote: ""While evidence says that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, they're probably all on first steps." -- Terry Pratchett.