Thursday, November 08, 2007


You are what you eat, continued...

The following is a little piece that came down from Wired, somehow. I’m not sure how it arrived. I’m pretty sure the reportage is factual: I mean this is just stupid and bureaucratic (which I realize is redundant) enough to be real.

God help us all.

When word broke in 2002 that the feds were picking out terror suspects based on what they ordered for dinner, most observers figured it was a glitch during the War on Terror's beta test — a one-time overreach. Turns out the strategy has been employed again.
"The FBI sifted through customer data collected by San Francisco-area grocery stores in 2005 and 2006, hoping that sales records of Middle Eastern food would lead to Iranian terrorists," CQ's Jeff Stein reports.
The idea was that a spike in, say, falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area…
But at least it's refinement to the 2002 version of the technique. Back then, federally-employed data-mining software labeled someone as a potential terrorist "if you were a person who frequently ordered pizza and paid with a credit card."

If we are what we eat, then perhaps we're being assimilated by Monsanto.
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