Back in 2003 I was an employee of the now defunct Worldcom. (yes...THAT Worldcom!) I worked in their legal department as a paralegal assisting where ever I was needed.
One of the only profitable subsidaries of Worldcom was UUNET--a very large part of the backbone of the internet. basically, most of that internet traffic you often hear about goes through this large room in Northern Virginia that looks like mission control. It's pretty insane.
Anyway, one morning, my boss handed me a pleading that had been filed in the Federal Circuit in the State of Oregon. The guy filing the suit was alledging that UUNET was involved in a conspiracy that rerouted traffic through secret government set ups that allowed the NSA and the CIA to tap into peoples internet and phone usage. He was suing a few internet and telephone providers for violating this law and UUNET was one of the companies named. This "Tin Foil Hat" guy as I called him was basically saying the government was violating privacy laws, listening to phone conversations and collecting data against the knowledge of many Americans. This guy was so certain that he was right, too. Countless letters were written and the case file was a pretty interesting read. My boss had asked me to find out the outcome of the case.
I called the clerk and referenced the case. She replied with a snicker, "Oh THAT guy..yeah. That case was effectively thrown out." I laughed with her for a few moments, made a tin foil hat joke and finished the call. I retold the story several times that day, each time laughing at the sheer silliness of the case.
The funny part is, the damn guy was RIGHT.
Is it funny? No, it actually isn't. We often dismiss people with such outlandish conspiracy theory type claims, saying they are paranoid fools that need a good dose of anti depressants. However, looking back upon this, I am starting to rethink my stance on dismissing what might seem outlandish claims. Yes, I agree--Many conspiracy theorists are incoherant nutjobs, but some might be on to something.
In light of all the things that have happened during the regime of Der Furher Bush, I am starting to pay just a bit more attention to some people that I might have dismissed previously.
There is so much information out there that it is often hard to disseminate all of it. However, you can often tell when people might be on to something.
Cross Posted at Holy Buck, Fatman!