Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
The idea was simple. Develop the world's largest electronic surveillance system to search for suspicious activities by criminals and terrorists. The resulting system, however, worked a little too well -- it kept finding dubious transactions that it traced back to Congress and the White House.
Now the so-called 'Echelon' system has been temporarily suspended until researchers can develop a way to ignore criminal activities committed by prominent Congressmen, while continuing to invade everybody else's privacy.
"It's a nightmare," explained an anonymous surveillance expert at the NSA (No Such Agency). "Our system kept generating these tantalizing leads -- but every time we investigated, it pointed back to a powerful Congressman that we couldn't touch. What a waste of time."