Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Working Hard to Save the World From the Peace Corps

Yesterday, Otto noticed that the C.I.A. had been snooping around his blog, through a referral from the blog of our favorite Peace Corps volunteer, Sarah Nourse, who had the temerity to exercise her First Amendment privilege in an open letter in the Andean Information Network and an interview in an AP article. Well, it seems the C.I.A. has also been snooping in this direction, too. See graphic at right; click on it to make it larger. (Doesn't the C.I.A. have the necessary technology to spoof a fake network location, or is this its way of intimidating people who speak out?)

I don't mind the agency checking out this site; after all, I suppose it is its job to monitor malcontents such as myself who criticize U.S. policy. But why is agency investigating a Peace Corps volunteer? Doesn't Sarah get to speak her mind?

But thank you, C.I.A. agent man or woman. This is just the thing that makes me feel vindicated in deciding to blog. Next time, though, take more than 50 seconds to read it! There's all sorts of good stuff in the archives....

1 comment:

They say it's a cold world said...

This raises a lot of questions. Like: is reading the same thing as investigating? Or monitoring? I don't think so. If we argue that it is, then when the feds come knocking on our doors, accusing us of subversive acts based on, for instance, a list of our google search terms, or some other clearly protected-by-the-first-amendment behavior, we won't be able to defend ourselves. Some Virginia analyst is no more guilty of a nefarious act because of his or her selection of reading material than I am. The fact that the CIA were reading a blog by a repatriated Peace Corps worker doesn't mean they were doing something to prevent or impede Sarah Nourse from speaking her mind? Or am I missing a piece of the story?

As a blogger, I certainly consider my blog a public resource, for the CIA, the lesbian afro-latin moms of the Dallas Fort Worth area, the boy scouts or any other group to drop on by and check out. In fact, the more readers the better.

That said, if the CIA wants to hide their IP address they obviously can. If they believe that bloggers might be intimidated by having a visit from a CIA IP address, then perhaps they are intentionally trying to intimidate. Then the burden is on us, not to be intimidated.

This is more of a wake up call. A reminder that anyone, anywhere, might read our words.