Surveillance in the Free World...And Nobody Cares


I know that as I type this little blog post, every character and line of code is logged and stored so that it can be published to the world. There were a number of little check-boxes and agree buttons to be clicked when I created this account just as with Facebook, Google, or virtually any app. We know that in order to fulfill our recreational desires and conduct everyday business, we volunteer information and sacrifice some privacy in trust.

With the revelation, or more accurately, confirmation from a former contractor to the NSA and CIA that there exist programs of surveillance devoted to every digital interaction from cellphones to text messages, it seems Shia LeBeouf was right when he half-joked that the FBI were listening to his phone calls.

Since this story has broke, we've heard more details about similar programs in Canada and the United Kingdom, covered in editorials peppered with references from the figurative Orwell, to the cold-war reality of McCarthy and the House of Un-American Activities.

As with almost every invasive piece of legislation and temporary measure that erodes privacy and with it liberty, it comes in the guise of protection. Fighting the terrorists. And as with previous examples those who support these measures are, as George Carlin once remarked, "always willing to trade a little of their freedom away in exchange for the illusion, the feeling of safety."

This can be inferred by the nonchalant dismissal by President Obama of these "necessary" precautionary measures. The same measures he fought against as a senator. But more disheartening is the reaction on news forums, blogs and even national polls that reveal an overwhelming public sentiment of "I've got nothing to hide, so why be concerned." Meanwhile the dissent comes largely from blogs like this one which ironically use the monitored, logged, stored, examined tools to decry the same.

"I've got nothing to hide."

Neither do I, but just keep in mind that you and I don't get to decide what counts as "nothing."

Fuck it, might as well tag this post with what they're looking for: 9/11, Allah, Barbara Streisand, Cocaine, Edward Snowden, Free Pussy Riot, I'm going to kill the President, Illegal Immigrants, Illuminati, Mein Kampf, Oklahoma City Bombing, Sovereign, terrorism.

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