The drip, drip, drip of news about how we are being watched. Our knowledge of the scale of surveillance is expanding by the day.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Seems like every morning there is a big story with details of the vast array of surveillance conducted by the federal government. Here is a broad overview of news in the last 2 weeks.

First report was metadata of every phone call at Verizon is passed to the feds. More important than the number of every person you talk to is your location on a moment by moment basis.

Then we learn data from the other carriers, AT&T and Sprint, is scooped up.

Then the news is the feds are scooping up credit card transactions, e-mails, and Internet activity. Although capturing all e-mails as been in the news here and there for close to a decade.

We learn nine Internet companies are passing on their info including

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple

The Post Office scans the front and back of every piece of mail.

Today the report is thousands of firms are swapping data with a variety of federal agencies.  One specific example is Microsoft giving info on day 0 software bugs to federal agencies before patches are released.

Many companies voluntarily turn over information, or product specs, or system design, or data and receive information in return.

In addition, one specific companies receive a letter promising no criminal enforcement and many companies get letters providing protection from civil suits.

The steady drip of information on the surveillance society hasn’t slowed. Just as a wild guess, there’s probably more news to come.

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