Thursday, November 08, 2007
Who is reading your Maikai or Safeway card data?
Democracy Now! | Headlines for November 8, 2007
FBI Monitored Sales At Middle Eastern Grocery Stores
Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian secret agents. The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian agents in the region. The program was the brainchild of top FBI counterterrorism officials Phil Mudd and Willie Hulon. The datamining operation was eventually stopped after FBI officials determined it was possibly illegal to place someone on a terrorist list because of what they ate.
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This one so needed a spew alert! LOL! I think we would all be locked up if they went through the crazy things we all buy! But, you're right, they can't lock us up based on our bad taste or high-fat content. And, seriously, they need to know the culture and perhaps the religion of people they are watching. A sudden surge in things like falafel might be a lenten decision. It would be kind of weird to have them know personal things like how much Astroglide you bought. I know, you're thinking, "OMG! I can't believe she said that!" Relax, I said it because I saw it on the shelf at Safeway. I did have to pick my chin up off the ground, but there it was!
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