Although it is widely acknowledged that the National Security apparatus eavesdrops on, and collects the emails of, millions of American citizens, and is even building a new $2 billion facility in Utah to store all the data, the government still pretends to need to hear from you personally about what you are doing to commemorate Stalking Awareness Month.
"Post, Tweet, or update your status using our 31 days of updates!" the Department of Justice site cheerily and disingenuously advises. "Watch Stalking: Real Fear, Real Crime! Take the Stalking Quiz!"
President Obama just signed another extension of the FISA pro-stalking act into law, personally opposing an amendment by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) which would have required federal stalkers to divulge information on how many people they have victimized. The White House even supplied Senate leaders with talking points to quash the amendment. The surprisingly unclassified list was later obtained by the Tech Dirt website. (You may have to click "refresh" to get the list to show up, for some reason.)
"The Administration opposes this amendment. The goal of this amendment is to obtain an estimate of the number of U.S. persons' communications that may have been collected. Two inspectors general have determined, and reported to Congress, that it is not feasible to provide actual numbers or estimates. They also found that an effort to provide such numbers by delibertely trying to identify U.S. person information would adversely affect the privacy of any U.S. persons whose incidentally collected communications may exist within the collected data."The president says that he doesn't want to admit that your privacy is being invaded because that would be an invasion of your privacy. Which more than qualifies for a whole chapter in Orwell for Dummies, don't you think?
But back to the Stalking Awareness Month quiz. One multiple choice question asks if you know how many Americans are stalked every year. Of course you don't, because that would be an invasion of your privacy. But the official government answer is more than three million -- unsanctioned creeps only, of course. And did you also know that stalking is a crime in all 50 states? You could have fooled me! What about the New York City police department's Muslim-stalking, and all those stops and frisks of thousands of people of color every single year? And then there's that little matter of the FBI stalking Occupy protesters with the help of the too-big-to-jail banks. In most, if not all, 50 states!
According to the government, most victims never report stalking to police, thinking that the police will not take them seriously. Ya think? The government also quite hilariously defines "monitoring computer usage" as criminal stalking behavior. And, it admits that computer stalkers are not necessarily tech-savvy. Duh again.
I am embarrassed to admit that I only scored a 70% on the quiz. I did get the question about the mental health of stalkers correct, though. I won't spoil things for you any further by telling the answer, in case you want to take the test yourself. And you know that you do! Just imagine Big Brother watching your every keystroke as you click through your choices, and reporting back on whether you're reporting back, and stalking the stalkers who stalk the stalking website.