Spy vs. BlogCheck the traffic statistics for any blog or site and you'll see plenty of curious things. Every site has it's share of mysterious daily visitors who never seem to comment. Every site gets visits from far away or obscure places. Every site has its share of confounding searches displaying downright odd tastes in everything from sex to coffee. It's even odder to know your blog actually touches on some of the weirder topics.
Some of my mostly puzzling visitors are with the US government. I had a spate of visits from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms last year. Ditto for visits from the IRS. I get the occasional drive by from the Commerce Department and even a single visit from some poor troll in the basement of the White House. With all the reports of wiretapping and clandestine blog visiting, it's easy to see a conspiracy behind every IP address, but visits from a series of US Navy addresses are a bit worrying.
And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'
For approximately 6 months last year - around the time when news surfaced about governmental blog tracking - I began to get daily visits from:
- gate4-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (188.8.131.52)
- gate2-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (184.108.40.206)
- gate5-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (220.127.116.11)
- gate6-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (18.104.22.168)
- gate1-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (22.214.171.124)
- gate3-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (126.96.36.199)
- gate8-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil (188.8.131.52)
I also got a few visits from similar "nmci" addresses with "gates" labeled Norfolk. The visits eventually tapered off, but they're still a regular occurrence.
There were several things that made these addresses stand out.
Dateline: San Diego, NY
First, even though the server names indicated San Diego or Norfolk, the server locations were in New York. Sometimes, I also got visits from 3 or more of the gates at the same time on the same day and the number of past page loads and visits from each one (even now) are identical whether there is a record of them in my site logs or not.
Curious about the "nmci" identification, I found that it stands for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, an Intranet developed by global contractor EDS to provide, "secure, universal access to integrated voice, video, and data communications." According to the EDS, NMCI will eventually "link more than 400,000 workstations and laptops for 500,000 Navy and Marine Corps users across the continental United States, Hawaii, Cuba, Guam, Japan, and Puerto Rico."
I've tried to log on to NMCI, but as you might expect, I'm not authorized. I'd think a typical sailor or marine would have little or no reason to visit my blog - much less know of its existence.
Now, I'm not alleging some nefarious plot. There may be some valid reason for my sudden popularity with sailors and Marines - perhaps they love the same witty punditry that so entranced the Sergeant-at-Arms and the White House troll - but it still makes one wonder. Perhaps the most troublesome thing about this issue is this. We now live in a county where the possibly of government plots is more than just the thought of a crazed conspiracy nut.
And that gives me the willies.
Drop by DFA and sign the petition to get rid of the Crapweasel General!
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, May 24, 2007