The Spectacle Blog
...The USSR ceased to exist. Dave Kopel looks back.
In other receeding-tyranny news, The arrival of the New Year means bars in South Carolina will finally be able to pour from full-size bottles. Thus ends perhaps the dumbest "temperence" law ever -- because bartenders treated the minibottles like shots even though they contain about a shot and a half each, the law's main effect was to make drinks much stronger.
Rise and shine, sleepyheads. You thought this year might be different? C'mon, guys. It's barely nine hours old here in Virginia, and we already have adequate proofs that 2006 is just 2005's ugly sister.
The J-Post reports, based on a story in a German newspaper, that we are planning a military strike on Iran. This is a combination of German disdain for any war Germany doesn't start and Israelis thinking wishfully that we will do it before they have to. And the London Times reports that the ever-charming Kim Jong-il's regime is restarting a nuclear reactor that will enable it to make about ten nuclear weapons a year. This despite the six-party talks that were supposed to get the North Korean genie back in the bottle.
The Prowler(s) will be back in force after the New Year, with breaking news about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. John McCain, the NSA spy investigation, and a few other goings-on that have been playing out over the Christmas Break.
Nothing surprises us about government employees dropping the ball or overlooking something, even at the NSA.
Of course, our friends at the ACLU believe nothing is by accident, and that all federal employees operate at genius level so as to better perpetrate the numerous plots their overlords, the evil cabal of neocons, are perpetrating on the world.
I've got my hand way up. Sorry, Congressman, but if cookies shock you, you don't what they are. It makes perfect sense that the default system would include persistent cookies; they're extremely common. And as Ed Morrissey notes, it's really hard to think of any pernicious use that the NSA would even have for cookie data.
By the way, I've got a cookie from spectator.org on my system that's set to expire in January 2038, so you'd better disable cookies on your browser right now if you're paranoid.
In the AP article linked above, a representative of the Center for Democracy and Technology, Ari Schwartz said,
Considering the surveillance power the NSA has, cookies are not exactly a major concern... But it does show a general lack of understanding about privacy rules when they are not even following the government's very basic rules for Web privacy.
In other words, the evidence indicates a dumb mistake.
I'd like to see a show of hands -- anyone who believes the NSA, the world's premier surveillance organization, which employs the top computer minds in the world, and enjoys a budget in the billions, left "cookies" on its website by "mistake." No hands? I thought so.