Guess what the FBI has been up to lately. They just released a document that says they have been watching far more people than they said before. By using a network approach to identifying potential bad guys, they have creating a “community of interest” that identifies people that have talked to terrorist suspects. Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:
|By ERIC LICHTBLAUPublished: September 9, 2007
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 — The F.B.I. cast a much wider net in its terrorism investigations than it has previously acknowledged by relying on telecommunications companies to analyze phone-call patterns of the associates of Americans who had come under suspicion, according to newly obtained bureau records.The documents indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used secret demands for records to obtain data not only on individuals it saw as targets but also details on their “community of interest” — the network of people that the target was in contact with. The bureau stopped the practice early this year in part because of broader questions raised about its aggressive use of the records demands, which are known as national security letters, officials said.
So much for privacy. And be careful about who your friend’s friends are friends with because they might have talked to someone that is linked to a terrorist supporter in some way.
If there is one man who should be sweating this policy… it is Kevin Bacon.
Kevin Bacon, unavailable for comment, could stand to lose big with this form of investigation. It is well known that everyone links to Kevin Bacon in some way. Depending on how intrusive and dispersed this “net” actually is, could land the popular actor on the no-fly list. The F.B.I. did say that they only took this out to the first step of contacts, but who really knows? It is not like they have been consistently upfront about how they operate. It takes a lot less that 6 steps to reach the popular actor for most people.
Now for the bad news…
If almost everyone links to Kevin Bacon, that means the terrorists have links to YOU!