Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Is Ashcroft a Fascist ?
I almost fell out of my chair when I read this story:
Department of Homeland Security Monitoring Progressive Clothing Sites
Website access logs are wonderful things. It seems the DoJ and the Department of Homeland Security has been visiting online stores which sell anti-Bush t shirts.
You read that right -- taxpayer money is being spent surfing the web for dangerous t-shirts!
"The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security were looking at th "Ouspoken Clothing" site, who notes "We hope they liked the Ashcroft Fascist button!"
But when they returned, we noticed something that wasn't so funny. Website access logs track when the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security stop by. We can see how they found us, what they looked at, and how many times they visited. We're watching them watching us - John Ashcroft would be proud!
At first we were amused that the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security were looking at our little site. We hope they liked the Ashcroft Fascist button! But when they returned, we noticed something that wasn't so funny.
Note the lines:
n021.dhs.gov - - [26/Jan/2004:04:13:29 -0500] "GET /faq.html HTTP/1.1" 200 8215 "http://sidesearch.lycos.com/results.asp?tab=web&query=progressive%20clothing&loc=1&rf=sidesearch&" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 5.0)"
n021.dhs.gov - - [29/Jan/2004:08:09:55 -0500] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 807 "http://www.altavista.com/web/results?q=progressive+clothing&avkw=aapt" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 5.0)"
For those of you who aren't access log literate, this means that they came to Outspoken Clothing via the search engines AltaVista and Lycos, where they searched on the phrase "progressive clothing." Now, maybe there is just someone working there who wants to buy our Anyone But Bush 2004 or Gay Marriage Now merchandise, but somehow, we doubt it.
It seems that the anti-terrorist division of our government is spending its time (and our tax dollars) doing web searches on people who disagree with their politics and have the audacity to say so on t-shirts. Progressive clothing = potential terrorist? Never mind that we're three pacifists running our business out of an apartment - because we don't like Bush, we might be a threat to national security. We're interested to see what happens the next time one of us tries to get on a plane!
You can see the entire piece, along with a lot more server logs, here.
(I almost created a category for "jackasses," but it was somewhat redundant with "politics")
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