February 25th, 2008


check out the doublespeak

Using a really neat free website called get my FBI file, I recently requested to see if any government agency had a file on me. The site has you type in basic information then generates the necessary letters which you then mail out to whatever agencies you wish to query. Sure, you might think of the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security, maybe even the NSA. But did you think that maybe the US Marshals Service, the Secret Service, or the Army Criminal Investigation Command might have a file? Well have no fear, it prints a letter for every government group that might be building a secret dosier on you.

Almost all of them came back with a brief one paragraph statement that they had no file on me. The exception was Homeland Security, and that's because I traveled outside the US this year, so that makes sense and doesn't bother me. But the NSA letter, that was interesting. They sent me a two page response. Here is Page 1 and page 2 of their response. (All personal information about me has been redacted, lol)

As you read this, bear in mind that a person who believes that the NSA and the telephone companies illegally tapped their phones can only sue the phone company if they can demonstrate that the government and the phone company tapped their phones. But people can't obtain evidence unless they already know they've been wire tapped. So basically, you won't know, and never will know because it's a rigged game.

The last paragraph on page one lets you know you ain't getting shit.

...because of the classified nature of the National Security Agency's efforts to prevent and protect against terrorist attacks, we can neither confirm nor deny whether intelligence records relating to you exist...

...the existence or non-existence of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Order 12958, as amended. Thus, your request is denied pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA, which provides that the FOIA does not apply to matters that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense...

But trust us. We're very careful to be sensitive to the civil liberties of the people of this country.