An UPDATE On Government Monitoring Processes

Here's a great piece of additional info that's out in the public realm, talking about the "top-5 things the government knows about you."

First up, like I pointed out in an earlier post about the NSA tracking people, unless you've triggered filtering software, they're not tracking "you" specifically.  So get over yourselves.  ...  It's me they want!!!

And like I pointed out in that previous piece (at least I think I did), this is nothing new.  In 2007 the U.S. fell to an all time low of 41st out of 50 countries on the "Privacy International" ranking chart of surveillance societies.  Being ranked low is not a good thing.

I'm going to use the term "they" with referencing "the government," NSA, or outer space aliens.


"They" track social media, but that's not hard.  It's public domain and we give away a lot of permissions when we sign up to the "free" resources to yak at each other on the web.


"They" have self-admitted to having been tracking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other traffic sources since late 2010.  If you think or believe you have the right to any privacy on any of these platforms, you haven't read your agreement pages that you probably just merrily clicked to get on the system.


"They" can keep/accrue records on specific individuals if their filtering software marks "interesting" or suspicious traffic.  They can keep those records for longer if your activity might hint at terrorist activity or behavior.

And don't worry. The NSA will have a huge facility up and running this year out in the Utah desert to house all their information on us.


"They" have been allowed to tap our phones and emails since 2008, when "Warrentless wiretapping" was allowed.  (Or more to the point, became a public issue we knew about.  Who knows how long it's really been going on for.)

The wiretaps look for target addresses, locations, phone numbers, names, keywords, and phrases to trigger filters to focus on folks.  If your communications have matched any or some of these filters, then you're on the watch list for quite some time.

Oh, and even though the big hoora was about Verizon Wireless, they weren't the only ones participating willingly with "them."


Warrants are not required for "them" to lock into your GPS location of your phone.  Laws make it tough for the use of special GPS tracking devices used on folks cars and such, but since our phones have satellite connections, and we willingly give up our privacy when we agree to so many aspects of our phones, that if you carry a phone, there's a huge digital red light over your head marking where you are and what you're doing.

Don't worry, this has been happening for quite some time when all cell phones started using GPS services.  They've been required for quite a few years now.  Even if you have a cheapie phone, it's in there.  You just can't see or access that service.


"They" are free to use aerial photography at any time, at any location.

Eh... no surprise.  If you're not down in your private cellar or tunnel, you're out in the public domain, and there, you have no privacy rights.  You go there willingly.

The 4th Amendment addresses "reasonable expectations of privacy."  This has been defined as something to the point of how if we know there are more and more aircraft or drones run by "them," then we know our privacy filters are dropping.

If an aircraft hovers over you... your reasonable expectation of privacy goes out the window.

In other words, implied privacy or lack thereof.

For me, since I am aware of satellites in orbit that can take measurably much higher res images than what you see on Google Earth, well, you do the math.


Of course "they" are working on new imaging technology all the time.  If there's something in the public eye that has incredible resolution, imagine what we, the public, don't know about?

And that goes for everything in this piece.

This is what is in the public eye, what we know about.  What we're either allowed to know about or what has gone public because it's not the latest, top-of-the-line tech.

So for the most part, if you expect any kind of privacy in this new world, it's a bit misguided.  Everything you do on the web is out there.  (And stays there too!)  Everything you do once you're outside your home is potential public information.  Everything you sign up for, services you use, public utilities you pay for, are all public.

The only thing we haven't seen or found, is an actual fossil of the thing called privacy yet.  But unlike the dinosaurs, I don't think we ever will find that bit of calcified evidence that we had any privacy.

But like I said in my other post, if it means I don't get blown up while "they" are preventing a terrorist attack, I think I'm OK with it.

{Huffington Post}


  1. Yep... Big Brother's been watching for awhile and society hasn't collapsed. There needs to be checks and balances in place, but the big, bad, scary government isn't that big, bad or scary. Thankfully, democracy has worked.


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