forwarded to me by rn sue awhile ago. almost missed it due to mail volume and work. interesting read. karen
watching the watchers
a new web site empowers citizens to track government officials' every move
by steven johnson
discover vol. 24 no. 10 | october 2003
in the fall of 2002, the bush administration announced total information awareness, a massive effort to build a counterterrorism database that can help track the activities of "people loosely organized in shadowy networks." the name was changed to terrorism information awareness after critics charged that gathering gigabytes of data on private citizens is a threat to individual freedoms. but meanwhile the domestic surveillance program continues. so mit graduate student ryan mckinley decided to do something--beat the government at its own game by watching the watchers.
on this july 4, after six months of programming, mckinley went live with a web site that inverts the idea of total information awareness. it's called government information awareness (www.opengov.us
). the premise is a simple but powerful one: if our elected officials use the latest information technologies to follow our every move and detect unusual patterns in our behavior, perhaps we should subject them to the same intense scrutiny.
check out federal campaign donation $$$:
american assn of orthopaedic surgeons
sen bill frist campaign
wow is all i can say!