I will admit to having become a tad more paranoid about my electronic activity over the last few weeks. I can’t help it. No, I have nothing to hide from the NSA, and the only trouble I look to stir up happens right on these pages.
I think that that has been part of my concern though; I spend a great deal of time writing material that, to some, may be considered subversive or anti-government.
Well, it looks like I’m not the only one who has become paranoid. Over the last month or so more and more people have been looking for ways to make their electronic lives a bit more discreet, but it may all be for naught.
Our “lefty” friends over at the Daily Kos have some not so surprising but ever more terrifying news for those of us who value our privacy – the NSA is watching and if you try to hide… they will look even closer.
New documents uncovered by The Guardian show that any attempt to encrypt or cover-up your electronic footprint allows the NSA to hold onto your electronic data indefinitely, even if accidentally collected. The NSA has even received permission to treat you as a non-citizen until they can determine that you are truly American.
So once they find out you are an American with certain unalienable Constitutional rights, they just give you your stuff back, right? Nope. If in their determination the material is “enciphered or reasonably believed to contain secret meaning” they can hold onto it indefinitely to practice their cryptanalysis skills. So make sure you don’t include any inside jokes, analogies, or cleverly worded sex talk for your significant other. After all the NSA needs your private material to practice on.
The politicians on the right and the left who have been supporting the President and the NSA over this snooping program have a lot of explaining to do. They told us that the NSA program works in such a way that it leaves us “ordinary” folks out of the net – but these new documents uncovered by The Guardian seem to throw all of that under suspicion.
The administration also has some explaining to do because Attorney General Eric Holder has signed off on all of them. The President’s right hand man himself has signed the order allowing our private correspondence to be held onto and used as some sort of NSA field guide for decryption.
My question is, now what? Your personal electronic info is no longer personal. If you choose to try and make it personal by using encryption or other methods then you have just painted a target on yourself because now the government really wants to see what you’ve written. If they figure out you’re American and no danger… they can still keep your stuff to read and play with as often as they want.
It would seem that the fact of the matter is that you have no privacy. It’s an illusion.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com