Quiet ... someone is listening
Someone is listening to your phone calls and it isn't Ma Bell.
It appears to be Uncle Sam.
And he might be checking into your Internet habits as well.
It's part of a compilation of telephone usage information and overall data collection.
Last week, the director of national intelligence defended the top-secret government data surveillance program that many say is an obtrusive invasion into the lives of average Americans and a violation of our civil rights.
One part of the program, code-named PRISM, is enabling national security folks to collect email, videos, documents and other material from at least nine U.S. companies. These include Google, Microsoft and Apple.
The government also is mining data from Verizon, the telephone giant.
People are outraged and the president went on the defensive.
"Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," proclaimed Obama.
But I don't believe it. Our government excels at wiretapping.
One government spokesman warned against overreacting.
James R. Clapper, Jr., director of national intelligence, said: "The United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence."
Baloney. I don't believe it. I always have a tendency to be suspicious.
I once ruined a perfectly good box of Raisin Bran just to see if there truly are two scoops.
It's no fun being paranoid, but after taking in all of the media reports and updates, I think the government is eavesdropping on phone calls and those of us in the media are a prime target.
I quickly did an assessment of my recent phone calls and the results are damning.
The government learned that I order my pizza with pepperoni, and that I once required a Z-pak for a sinus infection. I wonder if it qualifies as a drug buy?
Worse yet, they discovered that I secretly called a telethon in order to make a pledge.
Getting a bit hotter, they learned that I phoned local police to report a stray dog. Also, I used the Internet to order a small, stainless steel microwave oven for my kitchen counter. It's only 700 watts, a compact size that I prefer.
Of course, all of this is innocent. I don't know how to adapt a microwave in any manner to be a weapon. And I don't use it to intercept radio broadcasts from Communist China. It's not a tool of international espionage. But it does pop a mean bag of popcorn.
I'm not ashamed that these secrets are out, because I honestly don't know how all of this inside information will enhance government security.
I can't help but think that Obama is very disappointed after monitoring my activity.
If they're looking to crack the biggest manipulation of electronic media since the days of Tokyo Rose, they are sorely disappointed after tapping my phone.
My cell phone activity certainly wouldn't interest Homeland Security. It wouldn't even interest Martha Stewart.
Just the same, I don't want anyone listening to my phone calls. So from now on, I intend to generate lots of noise as a distraction whenever I'm on the phone. So if you and I are talking and you hear bursts of commotion in the background, it's only Orville Redenbacher.