Peter Tompa on behalf of the dugup antiquity dealers warned collectors last night 'Big Brother Will Be Watching You' in response to announcements of the setting up of a new intelligence system to scrutinise the dodgy antiquity trade. The use of the future tense invites the question, how naive collectors can get? Considering that there have been very many indications over past years that the illicit trade in antiquities is integrated into both organized crime networks as well (potentially) terrorist funding, does he consider it possible that the trade is not already under investigation from that point of view? Does Mr Tompa idealistically believe that we do not yet inhabit a surveillance society? Has the coiney community for example not heard of the ECHELON Interception System, or Palantir?
I've been watching the activities of several computers on this blog and two have stood out for some time because of the thorough way they have been accessing information. On checking out who they might be, it turns out (and I do not think I am revealing a state secret here) that one of the more active, on here almost every day, is a computer listed in the answer to an FOI request (published in Hansard a while back) as being part of the government network used to spy on electronic traffic in the UK. In other words apparently part of a data-gathering system being used to detect potential criminal and terrorist activity (if the published information was misinformation, it is a huge coincidence that this particular URL is accessing information from this blog in a manner unlike most other readers).
Personally I do not think I am writing anything here that puts me personally under suspicion of involvement in either criminal and terrorist activity, so my interpretation is it's not me they are after, but the people I write about who are of potential interest. Bazza Thugwit the artefact hunter and dugup dealers Messers Grebkesh and Runn and anyone who deals with them may already be on a CIA or Interpol database. Potentially anyone who has any dealings with them can too. Now let us see the CIA quit screwing around and do something with that information.