It seems there is a newly-found NSA program that has everyone in a hissy fit.
Michelle Malkin talks about it at Hot Air, and other folks are up in arms about it. SayUncle is pissed off. Okay. It's all right to get pissed off.
Dudes! Chill! It's okay. BellSouth, Verizon, and AT&T have been sending copies of the phone bill. They're not collecting conversations, they're collecting numbers. Who's calling who?
Let's say your wife is suspicious that you are fooling around. She grabs your cell phone bill when it comes in and runs down the numbers called. One number pops up really frequently. She jots down the number and calls it. Turns out, it's a travel agency that you have been calling, booking a romantic getaway for your tenth anniversary. She feels like an idiot and knows you love her.
On the other hand, the number that pops up frequently ain't a travel agency, it's your girlfriend. She adds 2+2 and gets 4. You're busted.
Now, on a more national note, suppose that you're an aspiring terrorist. Your activities come to the attention of nsa.gov and they pull your phone bills. Who's calling who? If you're talking to Abdul the Bomb Maker, the .gov has an interest in that. Even if the call is inocuous enough that you and he are just exchanging falafel recipes, they know you are talking to a terrorist. It's information that can be used in the war on terror. Simple investigation can separate the sheep from the goats. We do that all the time in police work.
We're at war, folks. Let's not forget that. Ole Imadinnerjacket in Iran has recently written us a letter telling us that God is going to destroy our culture, and that Islam will be the force He uses. The good folks at the NSA are trying to make sure his aspirations take it up the wazoo. They're not interested in you talking to your girlfriend.
Oh, and while I'm at it. If you're cheating on your wife, stop it. It ain't good. Nothing good comes from marital infidelity. If you're talking to Abdul the Bomb maker, know that the .gov has a legitimate interest in that. I mean, conspirators are getting life now, right?
**UPDATE** Blogger doesn't support trackbacks, evidently, so the link to Malkin's post is here.