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Twitter has agreed to turn over to the Library of Congress every tweet ever sent over the social networking website. The archives contain many billion tweets, everything from the mundane to the outrageous.According to a new presidential memo (yes, that’s Obama) directs federal agencies to take new stepsarchiving digital records, such as emails and postings on social media networks.

Don’t you find it gratifying that your tweet of less than 140 characters may rest beside Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Gutenberg Bible, the 2,600 volume collection of the Romanov family and great pieces of American literature?

According to Paul Wester, the director of modern records program at the National Archives and Records Administration, the question is employing “harvesting technologies” to capture the information.  He added, “We need to learn more about them (technologies) and how they can scale up for government wide use.”

The Fourth Amendment rights we fought King George III (right) to secure have been vacated at airports, now in personal communications?

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Friends have urged me to start tweeting for some time. Perhaps out of a desire to not play technological catch-up, I have resisted. Now I will refrain for another reason.

What do they mean by “scale up for government-wide use?”  Whether it be the “Chicago-way” mob in the white house or Republicans controlling congress, how much do they need to know about you? Whether they target ‘tea partiers’ or ‘occupy wall streeters,” why and what for?

Two explanations seem plausible. Either someone intends to track the opinions of citizens or we have too many bureaucrats with too little to do. Although the former is obviously scary, the latter is troubling as the government is not awash with funds to squander.

Thank god for inefficient, work ethic challenged bureaucrats. Their productivity inhibiting impact is limited to their salaries, as their actions have limited deleterious effect on the economy and they, of course, usurp less liberty.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

WC (Bill) Augustine

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