In the last couple of weeks, we’ve gotten confirmation that what we’ve been assuming is true:
The government is snooping on us. They aren’t lightly snooping. :
- They are gathering data on EVERYONE (inside and outside the US) simultaneously.
- Storing it in databases that will last forever, and
- Mining that data in the hopes of proving that you are a criminal/terrorist.
What are they snooping on?
- Who you talk to. E-mails and phone numbers. When and who.
- What you are saying. Copies and details are stored.
- Where you are/were. GPS info from your phone tracks your location.
Add to open info to that list. Stuff like satellite pics, CCTV coverage of major cities/buildings, and open source social media mining.
There’s even deeper data. Information like the growing national DNA repository (which is going to mine captured DNA for traits — see www.23andme.com ).
It’s safe to say that at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do without big brother detecting it.
So, should you be worried? Of course. There’s all sorts of nightmare scenarios that can emerge from this collection effort can enable the automation of tyranny (and that’s a very bad thing).
What do I find interesting about this situation?
First off, it’s amazing how few people care about freedom and privacy. In short, people have become so dependent on the bureaucracy, they will accept nearly any insult.
Secondly, this activity is clear proof that the government security system increase views all Americans as potential enemies. It’s also a good indicator that people inside the system don’t have the backbone/character to stop this type of gross infringement from occurring (NOTE: I don’t know what Snowden’s motivation was, so I’m not holding him up as a example). We saw something similar with torture a couple of years ago.
Thirdly, this scandal is a good milestone on the decline of the national security system. Simply, when the costs of it (snooping) far outweigh any potential benefit (protection), it needs to go. Further, since the nation-state derives most of its legitimacy from its ability to deliver security to citizens, this failure is more proof that the nation-state is in decline as a form of governance.
Finally, unless something drastic occurs, this type of data will NEVER be deleted. It’s there forever. It will be used against you decades from now. How it could be used against you is a matter of speculation today, but due to software automation, it could be used to do very bad things against a great many people in a very systematic way.