There are so many items to post about today that it’s almost overwhelming. Where shall we start?
How about some bullet items.
- Obama ignores D-Day remembrance for 2nd year in a row.
- NJ Gov. Christie attempts to dodge bullet by appointing ‘Pub AG to replace Lautenberg. AG says won’t run for office in October. Christie is attempting to get the best of both worlds. He placates the ‘Pubs by appointing a “conservative” to temporary replace Lautenberg, and he placates his dem contributors by selecting a appointee who won’t run for the election thereby almost guaranteeing a dem senate after the October elections.
- WaPo calls Obama, Goerge W. Obama, and NYT says Obama has lost all credibility, then retracts part of the editorial. The NYT has a real journalism moment…for a moment, before reverting to their old Obama shill stance. WaPo, however, is shifting more and more against Obama and so far, they are not retracting their statements. From my observation, the AP surveillance scandal was the trigger.
- Detroit cops stage a purse-snatching and then are almost shot by an off-duty FBI agent. Just when you think Detroit can get worse, it does.
- NFL Superbowl Champ refuses to attend WH ceremony over Obama’s support for Planned Parenthood. Finally, a celeb with morals, guts and a brain!
- WaPo columnist declares Drudge was Right! Refers to Drudge’s speech fifteen years ago on the state of Journalism.
As you can see, there are numerous subjects for a post. However, everyone is focused on the revelation that the NSA has been seizing call data for ALL (I’m still not sure that is accurate,) Verizon subscribers—and Verizon isn’t the only carrier involved!
What people are overlooking, is that this isn’t new. What is new is the volume of the data and the scope of the data seized.
The movies have misrepresented call tracing since the advent of the digital switch. Way back in the ’30s and ’40s, telephone switches were analog. In order to trace a call, you can to follow, trace a call, through the internal connections of the switch. It was a slow and laborious process.
With the advent and deployment of digital switches and modern call routing techniques, it’s much, much easier. A call detail record is created when the call is dialed. More data is added when the connection is made and additional data, timestamps, is added until the call is terminated. If either the originating or destination number is known, a carrier can retrieve the call data in seconds—a minute or two at most.
What is NOT available is the conversation.
You see, when digital switches were deployed in the ’60s and ’70s, the audio of the calls were digitalized, compressed, to better utilize and manage the telephone circuits between switches. If you tapped in on a circuit, you’d hear nothing. It’s digital data, not analog audio. The only place to tap is what is known as “the last mile,” the circuit between your home and the local switch. When wiretaps were granted, the taps had to be placed at or near the subject’s premises.
Digital central office and long distance switches weren’t designed to enable tapping and many, most perhaps, still aren’t. It’s extremely difficult. The FedGov, using FISA, asked the major telco carriers, in the early years of the 21st Century, to develop switches to enable tapping and to retrofit existing switches. It would be extremely expensive to retrofit the deployed switches and the carriers told to FedGov to pound sand.
The carriers did, as new switches were added and older switches replaced for added capacity, comply with the FedGov’s directives. Eventually, their networks will be replaced with switches that will have the capability of listening in on live conversations—but that time is still in the future. The transition will continue for several years, maybe a decade or more. Businesses just won’t replace a large, significant portion of their infrastructure at a whim of bureaucrats. The expense would put them out of business.
However, the FedGov has carriers over a barrel…and a club called the FCC. The FCC licenses telecommunications carriers and using the threat to withdraw that license, can coerce the carriers into doing whatever the Feds want—within some fiscal reason. That’s why the transition has and will take significant time.
So, we have a reprieve for awhile. I don’t know how long. Years, maybe? A decade, possibly? We must put that time into good use. First, by electing a CONSERVATIVE congress. Next, repeal the Patriot ACT and disband DHS, or, failing that, severely curtail their power and scope.
It’s not too late…yet, if we are to preserve out liberty.