The Patriot Act. The Hot Watch Program. Thanks Osama Bin Laden and all the terrorist groups out there for empowering the Feds to think they should have access to American’s information, anytime, for any reason. The recent issues with Wiki Leaks probably fits in here somewhere to make matters more convenient for the “truth” behind why any government would want more access and control with the people that put them in power.
As a citizen and consumer, I think this move is one more way for someone to get their hands on mountains of data all in the name of “because I said so” or “its a matter of National Security.” Here we are trying to build better relationships with China, and they have the power to send someone to jail for even hinting at slandering the government on Twitter. Bin Laden has not been found, a man tries to blow up Times Square, North Korea is blatantly building “things”, and POTUS now has low popularity numbers over tax cuts.
All that dumped onto a page:
What could the Feds possibly do by using Hot Watch over my credit card purchases or knowing that I like to buy Frosted Flakes and 2% milk on Sundays from Giant food chain? Bin Laden will NOT be found on aisle 4 with the fruit cakes, the next guy that tries to execute a bombing will not be found in Macy’s (and he better not even think about eating my Frosted Flakes), China MAY be found at Starbucks but will not be doing anything to clean up their water systems, and I will still be paying taxes with the tax cut money POTUS says I get to keep (hopefully my business breaks even by Dec 31st). Oh, wait, Student Loans, the real terrorist. The death of me. That’s what they will be watching. Right.
Be sure to read the article on Wired. A copy of the PDF is interesting.
Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credit Cards in Real Time
Federal law enforcement agencies have been tracking Americans in real-time using credit cards, loyalty cards and travel reservations without getting a court order, a new document released under a government sunshine request shows.
The document, obtained by security researcher Christopher Soghoian, explains how so-called “Hotwatch” orders allow for real-time tracking of individuals in a criminal investigation via credit card companies, rental car agencies, calling cards, and even grocery store loyalty programs. The revelation sheds a little more light on the Justice Department’s increasing power and willingness to surveil Americans with little to no judicial or Congressional oversight.
It’s not clear what standards an agent would have to follow to get a “Hotwatch” order. The Justice Department told Soghoian the document is the only one it could find relating to “hotwatches” — which means there is either no policy or the department is witholding relevant documents.