by John Hawkins | November 20, 2002 4:11 pm
Ridge — New Department Is ‘Not What You Think’: (2002-11-19) — Tom Ridge, soon to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the new mega-agency is “not what you think.”
“I know a lot of folks think that we’re going to be spying on Americans,” said Mr. Ridge. “I know that because of all the emails and phone calls from average Americans that we’ve intercepted.”
Mr. Ridge said information from phone and internet “chatter” indicates that Americans are concerned that the government will track web surfing, store information about credit card purchases, take pictures of people in public places, tap phones and even pay ‘friends’ as informants.
“You don’t need to be concerned about those things,” said Mr. Ridge. “I’m not saying we won’t do those things…just that you don’t need to be concerned about something that you can’t control anyway. Relax. We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you.”
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