Government’s Tangled Web Unraveled by World Wide Web

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If there’s one thing at which our government excels, it’s obfuscating, obstructing, and even obliterating information, particularly when it doesn’t want John Q. Public to have access to that information. Even with the advent of the Freedom of Information Act, there’s a whole lot going on which we don’t know about. Some of which we perhaps shouldn’t, granted, such as matters which are truly of import to national security.

But what about all that other stuff?

Well, if you like digging in government dirt, you’re in luck. According to a recent article in Wired News, there are an ever-growing number of both websites and webjockeys who are ferreting out, connecting to, publishing, and otherwise revealing all manner of government sponsored, hosted, authored, and closeted information.

The article starts out by revealing one nifty font of information which even I, google-eyed though I may be, didn’t know about: Google’s government-specific search engine. Tis true. Go to [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead]. Try it yourself. Plug in just about any search terms you like, and then try the same in the regular Google search engine. Markedly different results, even for whimsical search terms. Put in some serious terms, and you can get back some serious results.

Or how about this one? George Washington University’s National Security Archive. Here I found such gems as “Declassified Secrets from the U.S.-Iraq Relationship” (are they still ‘secrets’ if they’ve been declassified?), “Primary sources on the War on Terrorism” (including “The Hunt for Bin Laden: Background on the Role of Special Forces in U.S. Strategy”, and “The Taliban File”), and, on a somewhat lighter note, photographs of that little-known summit from our country’s history: Nixon meets Elvis.

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The addresses, area maps, and satellite photos of the homes and offices of such high-ranking officials as John Ashcroft and George Tenet are there for the world to see at the Eyeball Series website. Hosted by John Young’s Cryptome site, Eyeball Series also boasts lots of images of Iraq “kill zones”, and outs a secret naval installation in D.C..

Now mind you, I am not opining one way or the other as to whether this use of the web is good or bad. But it is interesting that the very thing which the government is trying more and more to police and regulate, the Internet, is the very thing which those being ‘governed’ are using to turn the tides back, and the sheets down.

 
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