I’m sure it’s just a coincidence… yeah, a coincidence, that’s it.

Apparently four transoceanic communications network cables have been mysteriously severed. The result of this is that internet traffic in the Middle East has been severely hampered and, according to some reports, completely halted to and from Iran. Even more interesting, what little traffic still exists is being re-routed through the US and UK, but I’m sure there’s nothing fishy going on, it’s probably just a massive series of completely unrelated coincidences.

Here’s more from Monday’s episode of Rocketboom (the pertinent part begins at about 2:15).

Also, on a completely unrelated note, here’s Wikipedia’s page on the USS Jimmy Carter, which says, in part:

Carter is roughly 100 feet (30 m) longer than the other two ships of her class. This is due to the insertion of a section known as the Multi-Mission Platform (MMP), which allows launch and recovery of ROVs and Navy SEAL forces. The plug features a fairing over a wasp-waist shaped passageway allowing crew to pass between the fore and aft sections of the hull while providing a space to store ROVs and special equipment that may need to launch and recover from the submarine. The MMP may also be used as an underwater splicing chamber for tapping of undersea fiber optic cables. This role was formerly filled by the decommissioned USS Parche (SSN-683).

Jimmy Carter, Iran… I’m sure it’s all just a massive coincidence.

Paranoia, the Destroyer

So, I was perusing my server logs (like I do) and discovered that someone from the Department of Homeland Security had found their way to my blog, via Google (and this isn’t the first time).

I don’t want to run afoul of “them” and find myself in some secret gulag somewhere being subjected to various forms of “not torture”, so I won’t divulge what search phrase landed them here.

Suffice it to say that given my predilection toward paranoid delusions/flights of fancy this information has made me feel decidedly less secure. Of course, I could just assume that someone in Homeland Security was goofing off at work and found their way here, but where’s the fun in that?

And it goes like this.

ACLU Says FBI is Spying on Religious, Protest Groups

Well… Duh! Everyone should give Steve Earle’s “Conspiracy Theory” from the Jerusalem CD a listen. I may not agree with all of Mr. Earle’s politics, but I think he’s spot-on with his “paranoia” about government intrusiveness.

What if I told you it was done with mirrors
What if I showed you it was all a lie
Better be careful, someone might hear ya
The walls have ears and the sky has eyes
What if I said you were only dreamin’
What you want to bet that all you got to do
Is open up your eyes and you’ll wake up screamin’
When you realize that it’s all come true

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday accused the FBI and local police of spying on political and faith-based groups and formally
asked the government for information about such FBI surveillance.

In Freedom of Information Act requests filed in 10 states and Washington, D.C., the ACLU sought information about the FBI’s use of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and local police for what it called political surveillance. It pointed to some documented examples of task forces’ involvement in the investigation of environmental activists and anti-war protesters. “The FBI is wasting its time and our tax dollars spying on groups that criticize the government, like the Quakers in Colorado or Catholic Peace Ministries in Iowa,” said ACLU associate legal director Ann Beeson.

“Do Americans really want to return to the days when peaceful critics become the subject of government investigations?” she said. The ACLU is America’s most prominent independent advocacy group for civil liberties.

The FOIA requests seek FBI files on groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith.

The FBI denied using the task forces — a key element of the government’s efforts to prevent another terror attack like those on Sept. 11, 2001 — to spy on innocent individuals.

Asked about the ACLU action, an FBI spokesman said, “The FBI does not investigate individuals or groups that are engaged in exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of expression.

He added, “Only if they are engaged in criminal activity in support of a cause would we be interested in them.”

In its FOIA request, the ACLU asked for information on procedures used by the task forces for monitoring people based on their race, religious affiliation, organizational membership or participation in protest activities.