15 October 2005

Gestapo 2.0...?

WTF!!! The Bu$h Administration has really outdone itself with this one. No doubt Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels are turning in their graves with envy...

If you've got AOL, I suggest you re-evaluate your situation...

DHS and AOL: An Unholy Alliance

October 3, 2005
by Martin McKinney
The Financial Reporter (U.K.)

Washington- The American-based internet giant, AOL, wholly-owned by Time-Warner, has formed a working partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to permit unlimited surveillance of the millions of AOL online members, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"AOL works 'closely with the DHS' to supply information on any AOL
customer and allows agents from these entities `free and unfettered'
access to AOL Hq at Dulles, VA for the purpose of `watching over and
keeping surveillance ' on the millions of AOL customers,' according
to the report.

The legal basis for this is the recently Congress-approved Patriot Act
which permits warrantless searches of persons and property. While
information gleaned from delving into personal computer messages is
supposed to be kept confidential, it appears that the DHS has exceeded their brief and obtained what appears to be strictly personal
information which is then circulated to entities outside the DHS.

The Department of Commerce report also states that news of this
surveillance has leaked out and is causing serious concern in the
American, and European, business communities who are fearful that
trade secrets may be given to other business entities, considered as
"friendly" to the Bush Administration.


Anonymous Andrew Weinstein said...

Unfortunately, that story is a complete hoax. To our knowledge, the Department of Commerce has issued no such report, the media outlet credited for the article (The Financial Reporter) does not appear to exist, nor does the reporter who supposedly wrote it.

More important, the claims in the mythical "report" are totally false. AOL's privacy policy, a part of our contract with members, requires that we keep member communications confidential except in response to a valid "legal process (for example, a court order, search warrant or subpoena)". We do not provide "unlimited surveillance" or "free and unfettered access" to member information to DHS or any other government agencies. http://about.aol.com/aolnetwork/mem_policy

Andrew Weinstein
America Online, Inc.

1:05 pm  

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