When I was a young boy, I was almost hit by a car. The driver was very shook up and called my mother.
“Called my mother?” Yup. She explained, “We live in a small town, and everybody knows everybody.”
A while later, I tried to run away from home. I made it 16 miles before a lady in a totally different town called my mother. Small town? Small world.
While I was in my late teens, I wrote a secret love letter to a girl of whom my mother did not approve. My mother found out about the letter, and the seriousness of her attack was sufficient to stop me from repeating my mistake.
Jump forward a few decades.
You may think what follows is all a bunch of “conspiracy” foo-rah, but please read to the end where I summarise my feelings.
Many people believe that the US Government has the capability to spy on every communication made by every citizen and the ability to store all that information for as long as it deems necessary.
It is wonderous to many people that the most conservative of all states (Utah) has been chosen to house all those gazillions of bytes in a monstrous building for the National Security Agency – the NSA.
Charles R. Smith told George Knapp and millions of COAST TO COAST AM listeners Sunday night, “. . . the NSA has become a “bureaucratic behemoth, almost like a dinosaur or Godzilla that has no brain . . . and it will just continue to lumber on.” We need to not only pull in the reins, but to dispose of entire missions the NSA has taken on that border on illegality, he suggested. A number of years ago the NSA tried to get legislative approval to install a “back door chip” in tech equipment, Smith recounted. But when that failed in Congress, they instead covertly managed to spread a wide variety of back doors in both software and hardware, including flaws in encryption they could exploit throughout the entire tech industry.”
If you have been on a computer very long, you already know about cookies. “tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories.”
You already know about TOS – “rules which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service.”
But did you know that parts of those TOS agreements MAY include:
*Transparency on government or law enforcement requests for content removal
*Notification of government or third-party requests for personal data
*Transparency of security practices
*Saved or temporary first and third-party cookies
*Data tracking policy
*Indemnification or compensation for claims against account or content
We all know Internet browsers not only gather and store all the information you type and receive, but they also SELL that information to advertisers (and maybe the government?)
The Guardian reports, “The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to . . . technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook.”
Now then, here is the focus of this article. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, at a meeting in New York said, “There’s been spying for years, there’s been surveillance for years, and so forth, I’m not going to pass judgement on that, it’s the nature of our society.”
“it’s the nature of our society.”
In other words, “Get used to it.”
I think we have been so bombarded by similar reports we have thrown up our hands and said, “What can we do? It is in place, It is too big to fight. Move on.”
I’ll bet you a nickel to a dime, if you write to your Senators and Congressperson with your concerns, they will reply with something like, “Don’t worry.” They will “defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government’s executive, judicial and legislative branches.”
Okay. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Meanwhile, here is some advice I am giving myself:
“Don’t say or write anything you don’t want your mother to hear/read.”
“Don’t say or write anything you don’t want a loved one to hear/read.”
“Don’t say or write anything you don’t want the IRS to hear/read.”
“Don’t say or write anything you don’t want Big Brother to hear/read.”
That includes this article.