Playing “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” on the piano for my evening relaxation and hearing my daughter sing about the “sweet land of liberty,” I thought of the NSA’s Prism surveillance system. The U.S. government should thank whistle-blower Edward Snowden for providing a way for them to reduce the U.S. budget deficit. Now that everyone knows that the U.S. government harvests data on every person on the planet not living in a cave, why doesn’t the U.S. government mine the data — after all, it has the most computing resources — and sell the results to telemarketers?
The government could charge each telemarketer $1,000 for search results of up to 1,000 names. Bronze members ($100,000 annually) would also get a promise not to enforce court orders on violations of the E.U. Data Protection Act. Gold members ($1 million) could be exempted from the federal “do not call” database requirements. Platinum members ($10 million) would also get a suspect’s (sorry — “potential contact’s”) workday website usage and any evidence of extramarital liaisons.
There are disadvantages. Cutting the deficit would give the politicians involved in efforts to reach a “bipartisan” consensus less of an excuse to cut Social Security (leaving fake inflation statistics as the best remaining option). A “do not call” exception might violate the law, not to mention facilitating blackmail. But what’s another legal violation or two among friends?