Creepy Surveillance Contest: U.S. vs. Syria
Here is one of my favorite stories from my time in Syria, and it sounds like America is following suit: my friend Drew-- a Canadian-- was on the phone speaking to a friend from home, who was French-Canadian, and his friend switched from English to French, as French-Canadians often do, but after he spoke a few words in French to Drew, another voice-- a deep voice-- interrupted their conversation and said, "Please continue the conversation in English," and so they did, as no one wants to be "disappeared" like Dunbar . . . and though it was no surprise that our phone-calls were being monitored, as we had all been forewarned about the methods Syria's oppressive police-state infrastructure employed, it was still pretty damn creepy, but-- according to this Wired magazine article-- the United States is far beyond this in terms of surveillance (though there's nothing more effective than a creepy voice from nowhere as a scare tactic) and soon nearly everything we say over the phone and everything we do on-line will be stored in the NSA's massive Utah Data Center, an innocuous sounding place five times the size of the U.S. Capitol that will specialize in data storage and breaking encryption-- so watch what you say, as it will come back to haunt you, especially if you are one of the one million Americans on the terrorist watchlist . . . or if you know one of those people, or if you've ever been in the same room with one of those people . . . and while this is scary, intrusive, and certainly some violation of our First Amendment Rights, it's also kind of nice to know that someone will always be reading Sentence of Dave-- a built in fan base-- so here's a shout out to all those folks at the NSA that are saving these words for all of digital eternity . . . and if I'm not on the watchlist, then please sign me up, because I spent three years in Syria and I loved it!