Aggressive Government Surveillance angers US Citizens
An excerpt from Reuters today:-
"The debate over whether the U.S. government is violating citizens' privacy rights while trying to protect them from terrorism escalated dramatically on Thursday amid reports that authorities have collected data on millions of phone users and tapped into servers at nine internet companies.
The White House spent much of the day defending the National Security Agency's secret collection of telephone records from millions of Americans as a "critical tool" for preventing attacks, as critics called the program - first reported by Britain's Guardian newspaper - a heavy-handed move that raised new questions about the extent of the U.S. government's spying on its citizens.
At day's end, the flap over the NSA's mining of data from customers of a subsidiary of Verizon Communications was overtaken by a Washington Post report that described an even more aggressive program of government surveillance"
This doesn't surprise me at all.Telephone surveillance is a great way of sneakily obtaining tip offs and profile information.
I was told by a telephone engineer ten years ago that you do have to be careful with what you say in the UK, certain words could trigger 'someone listening'.
Mobile phones calls and texts are tracked, and phone companies keep records. There is only a murder in the area and you have the police tapping into nearby phone coverage. This was seen in the Jo Yeates murder.
So, it can be useful but it does get a bit much if you value your privacy. Surveillance will just get worse as technology increases. There are times when you feel that surveillance should be in people's homes to protect people from domestic violence but if you are private person you just want to left alone, come what may.
If you have a sense of humour, a joke on the phone could be misinterpreted as something serious, the person who is listening may not get it.
I feel that is best to 'get off the radar' for peace of mind, and use the mobile, landline and internet a lot less, and use it wisely. If you can get rid of using the whole lot, even better. Mobile phone records are now splashed all over the internet, whether you like it or not. This was seen in the Chris Hulne case. Something that could be used in court, is published all over mainstream and social media, no matter how old you are. Those boring 'I'm on the train" calls could be even plastered, if necessary, years later. So should you be unlucky to die in some grisly murder, you could have the misfortune of a mobile phone 'afterlife', so it is better to seek some legal advice to find out how to keep your telephone chats private should you die.
And those "I want to end my mobile phone contract" calls to mobile phone company managers, that go on for half an hour would make interesting reading. I once tried and successfully ended my mobile phone contract with one company because the mobile company did not cover a particular location and the woman on the other end was having a right tizzy, trying to get me to change my mind. The lengthy phone call ended as I gave up and left the phone on the table, with her still shouting, much to the amusement to customers in the mobile phone shop.
With the internet these days, it is not just the Government who may be snooping but employers, neighbours, journalists (even people like me ironically) and business competitors so it is best to clear as much stuff as you can,even if you belong to craft clubs, this is no one else's business.
I had a trawl of the internet to see what stuff was on me. I managed to cancel my fundraising pages as they had expired, deleted all of my Meetup groups that highlighted my hobbies and what times I could even be there which would a bonus for burglars. I cannot delete newspaper articles flagging up my marathon timings, so the thought that I will be noticed at just puffing and panting over the five hours mark, will be haunting me for forever.
When you sign up for craft groups and marathons, many of us do not sign up for global publicity. Where is the Data Protection Act for Marathon timings, particularly the slow ones? Marathon timings are no one else's business unless you are being sponsored by people and to the sponsors. Marathon running to some is the taking part that counts. If we wanted to be an athlete we would join an athletics club. Even the information put on about your marathon timings, could be misused in light of the Boston attack.
I googled an old American boyfriend once and I discovered he was on Polymory Meetup group a decade ago. This just goes to show that sometimes lack of privacy on the internet can be useful, and funny. So I stay clear of what internet groups you belong to, your neighbours will know too and your colleagues, even your doctor and political opponents.
I am also in the process of getting rid of the Google Streetview image on my house. Apparently everyone can ask Google to blur your image of your property. You just go into Google Streetview and find your home and Report a Concern attaching your property's image and they should be able to blur it. In the US, a whole town has asked to be removed off Google Streetview and I think more should follow. Although I have mixed feelings about Google Streetview, I love looking at beautiful landscapes such as Everest and the Antarctic, I think when it starts 'getting a bit close', it is a little different as it can get into the wrong hands, you don't have much control over it.
There's really something to be said for Luddites. Knitters and Polymory groups - beware!