Big Brother is reading your emails!

I watch you


Okay, I understand that privacy is a huge issue. Maybe it is my time in the Army that desensitized me to what having privacy means, but I honestly don’t really care who looks at my Facebook, this blog (obviously), my emails, or my phone calls. You know why I don’t really care? I am not doing or saying anything that I am ashamed of. I am not having conversations about government takeovers or terrorist actions. Hell, I hope they eavesdrop on me enough to give me a job – you hear that National Security Agency? How about a job? I would love to listen to all the crap people say when they think no one is listening. I would laugh all day long. I would also have a hard time reading peoples emails without correcting them…but I could learn.

All jokes aside though – we have been operating under the illusion of privacy well before the modern miracle that is the Internet, it is just that the Internet and cell phones make it 100 times easier for ANYONE to hack into your communications. To think that the government hasn’t been listening to us since – oh I don’t know – forever; is rather nieve. I happen to be in the camp that says, “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.”

The government is doing the same exact thing that the grocery store does with your little key-chain “savings card” they are looking at how you shop, what you buy, when you buy it, and they market directly to you because of it. Personally, I wish the government would read everything I post, so they can see what a joke I think they are and change their behavior according to my preferences in order to gain my vote. That isn’t what they are looking for though, they don’t care about my opinions (or yours).

The Patriot Act (A Bush baby) is where this all started, so those blaming all of this on the Obama administration are simply living with their heads in the sand. This administration is simply taking advantage of government approved tactics to “identify and prevent potential threats to national security.” We all should know that no matter what administration backs up this nonsense, that the talking point is not the only reason the government is listening to what we had for dinner. It is a sneaky and effective way to get the real pulse of the political climate in the country. Right now, this tactic is serving the Democrats. Under Bush, it served the Republicans. See how that works?


I also think it is kind of hilarious and rather hypocritical of the American public to be so outraged by all this. If you are worried about privacy, go live in the woods, get rid of your Internet and cell phones, don’t send anything through the mail, and by all means don’t sign up for anything; ever. “Data mining” is not new – only the way we collect that information is. It’s just easier now because we offer this information to anyone (not just big brother) who has even the most basic understanding of networks and how they deliver information across the glorious World Wide Web. I hate to break this to you – but your emails have never been “private” neither has any word you have ever posted online (no matter what your security settings say).

Those little “agreements” that you never read? Yeah those pretty much authorize the owners of that application to use your information pretty much however they want. If you don’t like it, don’t hit “Accept.” However, don’t play ignorant when you hit “Accept” and all of a sudden you start getting emails and phone calls from politicians (who you surprisingly agree with) robo-calling your cell phone before an election. Or when you are all happy because you got a coupon for your favorite dog food “out of the blue” – these are NOT coincidences. It is the direct result of what you do online and how you do it and marketers and politicians are ALL paying very close attention to what you are doing because it gets them elected or makes them money. National security was just a way to get us to comply… think about it.

Information is power. It is all about how we use the information we have and the government has been acquiring knowledge much faster than the average American and that isn’t a new phenomenon at all. The great thing is that we also have the power to gather information – we have the same tools as the government to share and acquire knowledge. This blog is my attempt to do that. Share and acquire knowledge; not just from government approved media, but from other people around the world. I don’t have to believe what CNN is showing me about the protests in Turkey right now, I can look at the conversations the protesters themselves are having on Twitter and Facebook. I believe them more than I believe the mainstream media. I for one, love having that option, but that option comes with some responsibility as well as the understanding that people can access what I say just as easily as I can access what they say.

I wrote the White House an email about Stephanie and her situation and I titled the email, “Why Post Office Employee’s “Go Postal!” They liked it so much that I got a call from the National Suicide Prevention team. They were worried that Stephanie or I might be going a bit crazy (we are – but we aren’t suicidal) we just want the government to pay attention. I also sent them my blog “Why I love President Obama” but they didn’t respond to that one. I thought Barry or Michelle would really like that one. Oh well. I am sure though that because I have sent emails to members of congress, the President, and the senate, that they are reading this blog as I type it. I don’t care. Let them. For fucks sake I hope they learn something.

So yeah. I guess I am a little different than many Americans (this is also not news to me), I don’t care who reads what I post online – even if it is one of the many break-up letters I have written, or a scathing attack on our ridiculous congress. I know that if I put it on here, it is fair game to anyone who feels it important enough to access. WordPress owns everything I post. All of these blogs are insight into what I (and all of you who follow me) find important, interesting, or valuable. That is valuable information for corporations, politicians, religious groups, activists, wannabe hackers – whoever. I don’t care. If I don’t want people to know about it – I don’t post it, email about it, or talk about it on the phone.

Do I think that the government SHOULD be able to do this legally? No. However, I understand the Patriot Act and that made all this legal. So, your fears dictated this, your fears that were completely exploited by the previous administration, and that the current administration is taking advantage of. So lay the blame where it lies – but don’t play ignorant, and don’t be outraged because it is still happening. Demand change. You can do that – they are reading all this. Demand better. Pull your heads of of the sand and stop making this a partisan issue – because it isn’t. Or you can just go offline.








9 thoughts on “Big Brother is reading your emails!

  1. Hahaha! This post is great. I know that I’m uninteresting though, and certainly no longer make enough money for anyone to bother keeping tabs on me. Additionally, I no longer date anyone who is high profile.

  2. I actually glad that this is coming to light despite my reservations about what this will mean for the next couple of years of Obama’s term. In the parlance, this is a bi fucking deal.

    I’ll say up front that I agree that the conservatives and low-information voters who are suddenly outraged to find out about this clearly haven’t been paying attention (or are being deliberately obtuse) to those of us who have been on this particular bandwagon since roughly 9/12/01. I really, really agree that the Congress critters who are “shocked, SHOCKED” to find out Obama is using the powers they gave him are a bunch of whiny hypocrites. (With the exception of folks like Udahl who have been trying to warn us for years that we the people would not like what the Feds have been doing with the Patriot Act!) And I think it is very, very important to note that at least Obama, unlike his predecessor who shall not be named, at least followed the law and got warrants.

    But as an IT person, I spend a good deal of time and energy securing networks from intrusion of all kinds so I completey disagree that just because people (esp the government) might be able to hack my information means that I am naive to believe I still have a right to privacy in said data. Saying I don’t have a reasonable expection of privacy in my data because people can hack it is like saying I don’t have a reasonable expection of privacy in my house because I have windows. Data that I do not secure in some way, like say on my own blog, or that I freely give to a company is a slightly different matter. But even there I am not absolutely surrendering my right to privacy. That’s why we have laws about what businesses can and cannot do with the information we give them and things like requirements for opt-out clauses and the do not call list. All of those are predicated on a base assumption that we have a right to have that data be secure even when we “put it out there.”

    And I completely and utterly disagree with you that ywe have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide. First off, that completely negates the idea of privacy to begin with. Imagine the Founders saying, we don’t need a 4th ammendment because if you have nothing to hide you won’t mind if law enforcement searches your home or arrest you just because you look like you might cause trouble. Thank gods they didn’t believe that BS.

    Secondly, government on all levels, and law enforcement in particular, have been proving the old saw wrong since the very beginnings of our country. Ask the the Native Americans. The Japanese. The family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ask the people dragged before McCarthy’s hearings. The people of Acorn. The hundreds of people freed from death row for murders they didn’t commit. Just sayin’. Also, the law of six degrees of separation being what it is, there is a pretty good likelyhood any one of us could actually know and have talked to a terrorist. I really have no desire to have the feds come knocking on my door because I spoke on the phone with some 3rd cousin who is on some watch list. (And don’t get me started on those watch lists!)

    So while I am aggrevated with the over-reaction on the right and the “Obama is worse than Bush” BS from the left, I think this is overall a good thing. I am sad that Obama is going to get smeared with this scandal. But I hope that the American people are able to force Congress to change the law.

    Unfortunately I doubt that will happen. I predict we will spend tons of money on partisan hearings that attempt to lay this all on Obama, completely ignore the illegal activities of the previous administration and the fact that Congress KNEW all this was happening. Ultimately it will be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. And the “new normal” of government intrusion will continue unabated.

    Yeah, I am a little cynical.

    • I know a lot of people would disagree with that statement LOL I have just always lived my life in that way, and I have never been in a situation in my entire life where I had any privacy to speak of – so I know I may be a little warped there. I fully admit it though. I just think that we have given the government the free pass to all our stuff and to bitch about it now all of a sudden pisses me off.

      I did say they shouldn’t be able to do it. The Patriot Act should have NEVER EVER been allowed, but we were silent then, and now we get the ramifications of our own inaction.

      I also took a rather fatalist attitude in this blog post because some of it is just me trying to get it through peoples heads that the Internet is not some private country club. If it’s online, it’s fair game to anyone with the skills or money and desire to access it. I am NOT an IT person, but I know that the IT people at my place of work (when I had a job) had access to everything I ever did on my work computer. I just think someone always has access and put my stuff out there accordingly.

  3. Pingback: Privacy is an illusion | tolerantpeople

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