Obama promised that his presidency would be the “most transparent administration in history” which proved to be a lie. Extending Bush’s warrantless spying program was bad enough. Now his administration has exponentially increased the power of the NSA to collect citizen’s personal data.
Not only phone records, but the actual calls themselves are being siphoned off into server farms operated and curated by unaccountable, for-profit corporations under the direction of American security agencies. But it’s doesn’t stop at phone call. The powers granted ad-hoc to these security agencies have extended their tentacles of surreptitious keyholing to include major social websites like Facebook, Google tools such as Google Talk and GMail, Skype, Yahoo and Apple hoovering up all of your posts, chats, voice messages, and video chats.
The sinister part is that in the eyes of the government, you don’t get to decide if you’ve done anything wrong or not. Cory Doctorow puts it like this; “You should care about privacy because if the data says you’ve done something wrong, then the person reading the data will interpret everything else you do through that light.” And once accused they will mine this data pile for your past communications to use against you. Personnel and computer algorithms will be deployed to find keywords and pattern in your speech and thought. Aaaaannnnd…you’re fucked.
Even if you did nothing, you Might be considering doing something, or something. Precrime in the real world is way cooler that in a movie, because in the real world when they arrest you you don’t have to meet Tom Cruise.
Worse, however, is that they may decide to freeze your assets and bank accounts, you know, to make sure you don’t have any illegal, undocumented money you are holding out on them. Hey, it’s not your picture on the money, so it’s not really yours anyway. This is done so that you will not be able to afford a lawyer who might possibly get you a not guilty verdict. But no worries, you can have the government appointed lawyer. He’ll get you off, right? Don’t forget to thank them.
Privacy, of speech and of though, is of the utmost importance to us all. If you had no need for privacy, you wouldn’t have curtains on your windows.