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10/6/2006
03:55 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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IT Confidential: Listen Up: Homeland Security Explores New Monitoring Tech

The department's plan to track articles in foreign newspapers could help tame the United States' egocentric ways

Chris,

I know that the idea of a software doing the tedious job of reading several hundred newspaper and magazine articles, thousands of web columns, tens of thousand weblogs, and a zillion posts weekly would be preferable to 10,000 Winston Smiths (the protagonist of George Orwell's 1984) sitting in their Ministries of Truth, reading and noting the leanings of every word to decide whether people like us or not. However, I will side with Lucy Dalglish, and say NO THANKS.

If we are worried about what people think of us, let us act in a manner that will bring praise rather then recrimination. And, what are we do with the results of this software search? Will there be an 'Office of World Opinion' at the White House, that will report each day to the president, “75% of the world thinks we suck, Mr. President, while 23% think we only suck a little, but 2% think we are okay. Of course those are mostly writers on the payroll.” I repeat, NO THANKS.

Jim Chesky
Vancouver, WA

Don't We Already Have Ambassadors?

Don't we already have ambassadors? Isn't part of their job to tell the state department what's going on in the country to which they are posted?

And why is this funded by Homeland Security? To what ends? For what purpose? Good grief, for $2.4 million I will read the major newspapers of dozens of countries daily and give them my opinion. Heck, just round it off to $1 million and I'll be happy.

Doug in Seattle

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