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Uncle Sam wants…to see your email

And you thought the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping was a big deal. Hah — look at what Uncle Peeping Sam wants from you now.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a “walk in the park,” according to an interview published in the New Yorker‘s print edition today.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”

The article, which profiles the 65-year-old former admiral appointed by President George W. Bush in January 2007 to oversee all of America’s intelligence agencies, was not published on the New Yorker‘s Web site. (It can be read here in pdf).

.McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

“Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search,” author Lawrence Wright pens.

And if that isn’t enough, look at the Golden State’s plan to control the climate in your home:

Daimeon shot me this link: California Seeks Thermostat Control.

The proposed rules are contained in a document circulated by the California Energy Commission, which for more than three decades has set state energy efficiency standards for home appliances, like water heaters, air conditioners and refrigerators. The changes would allow utilities to adjust customers’ preset temperatures when the price of electricity is soaring. Customers could override the utilities’ suggested temperatures. But in emergencies, the utilities could override customers’ wishes.

OK. So it’s to control blackouts and such. I certainly understand the impulse to keep full-on power failures in the state when everyone turns on the A/C in 100 degree heat.

But think about it — it’s easy to imagine select manipulation of energy usage, such as keeping the surgically enhanced set in Hollywood studios cool, for instance, while poor areas of L.A roast. You can’t tell me politics and power wouldn’t factor into who goes into brownout if controls can be controlled by bigoted state government officials — or those willing to be paid off.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding