There was a time and it wasn’t so long ago, when mobile tracking devices, now innocuously called cell phones, were an idea yet to be born.
If one wanted to visit with a friend, relative, thug, wife, husband, lover, enemy, butcher, baker or candlestick maker, you had to do it via a land line. Privacy of such calls was pretty much a given.
Henrietta’s strudel recipe, Jake’s diagnosis of your car problems, the doctor’s call to your home (yes, they actually did make calls to their patients, at home – this was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away!) with his/her laundry list of what was wrong and what needed to be done, was private. The only way one might hear the sordid details of teenage love angst, adult mis-behavings and other bewildering idiosyncrasies of the human condition was to “eavesdrop” on the phone conversation.
Ah, but not now. The glorious modern era that has brought us one bad movie after another, one bad piece of music (if it can be called that) after another, government propaganda, corporate propaganda and anything else that dehumanizes the individual, we have this as reported by ZDnet.com:
A new analysis of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden details a highly classified technique that allows the National Security Agency to “deliberately divert” US internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans.
Now, granted – the typical phone conversation is as boring as the day is long, no further proof needed than hearing the phone conversation of the goof on their cell phone, broadcasting their past hour’s activities to some poor victim on the other end as you’re standing in line, trying to buy a spice that your significant other sent you to the grocery store to purchase for the dinner extraordinaire they’re creating. You look for the hammer to hit yourself over the head with so that the permanent brain damage is induced of your own accord and not from listening to another second of the banalities your hostage to at the check-out line.
If the chaps at the NSA have to listen to enough of these mind numbing conversations, perhaps they’ll frantically run outside their data collection centers and scream “enough”.
But that’s not what they’re paid to do.
The government is spying on most Americans through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our credit cards and smart meters, televisions, dolls, and in many other ways. ~ source: Washington’s Blog
But who cares, right? If you’ve got nothing to hide, then you’re all peachy, right? Maybe.
Snowden has said that the NSA is engaging in pre-crime surveillance. (Thomas) Drake himself (a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service) was the victim of the use of mass NSA surveillance to go after people it doesn’t like … and to use false “evidence” to frame someone. Specifically, the government indicted Drake on numerous counts of “espionage” … claiming – after he blew the whistle on NSA corruption and lawlessness – that unclassified documents which he took were classified. Stunningly, the government classified some of the documents after-the-fact in an attempt to frame Drake. – source: Washington’s Blog
How the NSA spies on you in America ~ via expressvpn.com
1. They have your phone records
The Patriot Act allows the U.S. Government to obtain “business records that are relevant to terrorist investigations.” This apparently includes records of every domestic and international call made in the U.S., including the number dialed, the time of the call, and its duration.
2. Your favorite internet services pass them your data
Facebook, Google, Apple and six other leading online services have all gone on record as having passed their customers’ data to the NSA, as legally required by the “PRISM” program. Data shared includes emails, messages, and documents.
3. They can hack your devices
The NSA’s hacking unit, Tailored Access Operations, has developed a whole range of hacking exploits. These enable the NSA to break into consumer electronics devices and IT systems as it sees fit. When the NSA finds a security hole in a popular consumer device, they do not, as previously intended, fix the security hole, but instead exploit it. That leaves all our devices vulnerable to hackers.
4. They’ve made sure your security devices are exploitable
The NSA has also made the job of hacking security devices easier for itself, by coercing many manufacturers into building vulnerabilities into products such as networking switches, firewalls, and encryption protocols. These vulnerabilities are known to the NSA, which can exploit them at any time. The NSA also intercepts shipments of computers and phones and plants backdoors in them.
5. They can track you wherever you are
When you move around your town, cell phone towers are able to calculate your exact position. The NSA keeps records of where you are at any time. They are able to read all your incoming text messages and phone calls and store them indefinitely.
How the NSA spies on you overseas
6. They’ve tapped internet lines worldwide
The internet connects different continents via undersea fiber optic cables that carry truly massive amounts of data. In some places, the NSA has deals with local intelligence agencies to tap into these cables; in others, it does so on its own. The NSA even uses submarines to attach snooping bugs to cables deep beneath in the ocean.
7. They’re hacking foreign companies
In Brazil, Germany and other countries, the NSA has broken into the internal networks of major telecommunications providers, intercepting the data they collect and weakening the security of their systems. They collect every email and phone call they can.
8. They know exactly what you own and buy
The NSA has access, through agreements and hacking, to major credit card networks, payment gateways, and wire transfer facilities. This allows them to follow every cent of your money, where it comes from, and what you are spending it on.
Think about it for a moment – when you’re on your phone, most people will instinctively guard their privacy, especially if they’re arranging clandestine meetings, talking about their diet, or even telling of their latest teenage crush. Try “eavesdropping” on someone and see the reaction you get.
Yet, the American public en masse (except for the lone wolf who apparently thinks it’s for the world’s advantage to hear of their latest escapades) seems to have no problem letting the government in on EVERY detail of their lives.
But hey, if you’ve got nothing to hide…
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Photo credit: www.unsplash.com/@eaterscollective
Photo credit: By John Seung-Hwan Shin (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons