The Null Device
I'm listening to Seascapes of the Interior's demo CD, and it's brilliant. Very atmospheric and soundscapey, with piano, fiddle, effected guitar, analogue synths and more. Can't wait to hear what their album's going to sound like.
Here come Ashcroft's Stasi. The Bush Administration is planning to recruit 1 in 24 Americans as informants, to watch their neighbours and report "suspicious activity". The Citizen Corps, as it's called, will include a greater proportion of the population than East Germany's notoriously comprehensive informant network ever did.
Historically, informant systems have been the tools of non-democratic states. According to a 1992 report by Harvard University's Project on Justice, the accuracy of informant reports is problematic, with some informants having embellished the truth, and others suspected of having fabricated their reports.
Present Justice Department procedures mean that informant reports will enter databases for future reference and/or action. The information will then be broadly available within the department, related agencies and local police forces. The targeted individual will remain unaware of the existence of the report and of its contents.
There goes that unpopular notion of the "consent of the governed".
Aren't you glad you live in a country so concerned about your safety? Because if you aren't and say so, your unpatriotic sentiments will end up in the mother of all Oracle databases, to be used against you at some future time.