Big Brother is watching, and I don't mean that half-wit moron you see on TV!!!
White House staff members are informed that they are not to use any AT&T, SBC or AOL system to send any messages dealing with official issues. Why is this? Because these entities report directly to government agencies, giving them, on a strictly voluntary basis, reams of information on their subscribers to include taped conversations, records of incoming and outgoing calls and, most especially any incoming or outgoing calls from outside the United States. These firms volunteered to supply governmental agencies with all of this information and, in some cases, have permitted government agents to operate freely inside their facilities.
Also, it is well known here that the search engine, Google, regularly and again, voluntarily, supplies the government identifying material on persons seeking information on subjects the government has decreed are ‘of interest.’ This includes the obvious subjects such as al-Quaeda, smart bombs, or nerve gasses but also includes any subject that might be considered anti-administration in general and anti-Bush and Cheney in specific.
Although there has been some public discussion of this volunteer spying, it is continuing even as we speak and it is known in the trade that no federal prosecutions will ensue as a result of their illegal actions. Many American businesses, such as the huge California-based Bank of America, regularly cooperate with the DHS in conducting illegal searches of their depositor’s accounts and, especially, their safe deposit boxes.
It is a common joke inside the Beltway that many DHS employees are sporting very nice gold watches as a result of these clandestine operations.