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! 

9 comments:

Dave said...

there is a resemblance. i'm trashing your comment for the sake of my anonymity . . .

Igor said...

For the record, NSA, I refused to go to Syria while Dave was living there! Yeah, USA!

Instead, I met him in Amsterdam, where we . . . well, that'll just land me on a different list.

Igor said...

And what ever happened to your friend Dunbar? She was cute, but she kind of disappeared.

Dave said...

ran into her once in nyc. since then, she has disappeared, unlike dunbar in catch-22, who WAS disappeared.

Al DePantsdowno said...

Trash my comment?!?! You have pictures of yourself on your own blog. Are you going to delete those too? http://sentenceofdave.blogspot.com/2009/03/362009.html

Igor said...

Ooh, I do love that post.

Dave said...

that could be any jersey dirtbag dave.

rob said...

stealth canadian care!

Dave said...

it's true-- i clicked the counter for this sentence-- but i've been pretty negligent in caring about canada. but i've been busy: house refi, F license, faculty follies band, dog. most of that is over so now i can continue the caring.

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