It seems that the one book they read was 1984.
George W. Bush, while at NSA headquarters yesterday, asked the US Congress to turn the NSA program that allows any and all communications to be monitored without a warrant into a law rather than letting the program expire in February of 2008. While this law does not give operatives carte blanche to break into a home and plant monitoring devices or copy data from computers (that's covered by another set of statutes entirely), it does mean that they can record and analyze telephone calls, e-mails, and other forms of communication without oversight or legal record. As to why he didn't say this before Congress itself, I can't say, but that's beside the point. If the domestic surveillance program were made into a law, such monitoring could be done to anyone within the United States for any reason, regardless of the political climate or situation we're told that we have.
But wait, there's more.
It's been discovered by the EFF through a couple of Freedom of Information Act requests (one of them placed by John Gilmore, a founding member of the EFF) that airport screeners are keeping a careful eye on what people are carrying with them, down to commenting on their choice of in-flight reading material. Moreover, they're keeping careful records of this information and they're not telling anyone a) that they're doing it, or b) for how long this information is being kept. What I want to know is, at what time will they start using this information to determine who can and can't fly and for what reasons?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The terrorists definitely won if the people who are ostensibly the good guys are doing stuff like this behind our backs.