Sunday, August 4, 2013

NSA, Google, Online Snooping Goes Beyond Big Brother

Senator Frank Church – in the late seventies chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and chairman of the famous “Church Committee” which investigated abuses in the U.S. intelligence agencies–said in 1975 (!):

"The National Security Agency's  capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide...... I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that the NSA and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

This was almost 40 years ago, and we are again in the same or actually deeper trouble. Government(s) now can collect all data about its citizens and non-citizens they want, because they have the technology and we, citizens, are willingly using any kind of device that enables this spying. But government is not the only party that does this, Google (you know, those guys whose motto is "Don't be evil") is another entity that follows our every step online. And they are probably not alone.

Let me refer here to two interesting blogs that show how being online offers no privacy or personal security whatsoever. Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis summarizes a few news stories about this online snooping, NSA tool collects "Nearly Everything You Do On the Internet"; Targeting Journalists; What Google Knows About You; Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Upheld"

and  specifically have a look at the blog......

Zero Hedge in its post What Google Knows About You

What Senator Frank Church wanted to avoid from happening in 1975, i.e. spy agencies from by- passing the law and using technology in snooping on its citizens, seems now to be happening. Big Brother is watching us, beyond what George Orwell ever could have predicted. If democracy is not able to correct and regulate this excessive behavior, then the question is what else can we, the citizens, do to stay under the radar?  Here are 10 tips courtesy from on how one can stay under the radar, from avoiding the Internet (!), to using anonymous credit cards, getting rid of your big company cell phone, and to leading a simple life. Unless you are willing and able to do so, everyone has to face the consequences of the loss of one's privacy and being followed in most of its communications and activities.

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