Yes, you’re paranoid … and you are being watched

There are no secrets in the Internet age (from the Washington Post):

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

So the government is watching you.

But we already knew that anyone could find out anything about anybody at anytime. And it doesn’t have to be the government doing the snooping. Remember this?

I should be upset about this “revelation.” But since it’s common knowledge that even a guy doing a bank commercial can access all of your information to prove the point that if you use the Internet you have no privacy, why should you be surprised that the government can do the same thing … even better?

If we want something done about it, we demand Congress pass laws to ensure our privacy. Of course, that won’t stop government, or corporate, or individual intrusion into our electronic information, but it provides the illusion of satisfaction that someone will go to jail when the invasion of privacy gets out of line.

And what the government is doing is legal. Those laws had their genesis in the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program that started in 2007 and expanded during the Obama administration. People complained, but the post-9/11 paranoia that “terrorists are going to kill us all” made it really easy for Congress to approve the intrusions.

On the other hand, the Internet allows individuals to gain access to secret government information. But you can go to jail for that.

I’m going to see this today:

Who gets to control information?

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