Thanks solely to our American whistleblower hero, Edward Snowden, we now know for certain that the United States of America’s National Security Agency (NSA) either does, or at the very least, has the technical capacity to know each and every one of us hapless citizens even better than our own mothers know us.
The government spooks are running amok.
Today’s state of the art technological NSA government spooks make George Orwell’s 1949 prescient novel “1984,” accurately predicting the “big brother” surveillance state, seem like harmless snooping through someone’s garbage.
Snowden’s latest revelation is the fact that the NSA is constantly tracking and compiling data on the locations of 5 billion cell phones overseas, including those belonging to Americans abroad. Only now NSA admits that it “inadvertently” gathers the location records of "tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad" annually, along with the billions of other records it collects by tapping into worldwide mobile network cables.
NSA can listen in on the cell phone and land line phone conversations too. We know that from earlier Snowden revelations. He told us that while working for the NSA he had the wherewithal to tap into the President’s phone had he wanted to.
Would NSA have admitted it had our hero not revealed it first?
I think we all know the answer to that.
Can we believe the NSA when it says that this data is only “inadvertently” collected on Americans abroad? Can we rationally believe that they aren’t constantly spying on all of us right here in the United States?
I think we all know the answer to that as well.
To date, we know only a very small percentage of Snowden’s documented information about the NSA and those revelations have all been bombshells.
The bottom line is that the NSA has the capacity to track the movements of almost any cell phone and their unsuspecting users 24/7/365 around the world, including cell phones in America, and then use its state of the art number crunching software -- a powerful analytic computer program called CO-TRAVELER -- to make maps of the myriad patterns and relationships mined from the data.
In short, if you use a cell phone, the NSA has the technical capacity to know exactly where you are at all times, who you are meeting with and what you are talking about. It stores this unimaginable quantity of data, up to 27 terabytes, and the volumes of such data are presently "outpacing our ability to ingest, process and store" it according to NSA’s own admission.
If the NSA targets you for any reason, even if you are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and are not a potential terrorist, it has the capacity to track your every move.
The NSA has tapped in to the entire global computer and communications networks, including the World Wide Web, Internet and private Intranet networks, land line telephone and cell phone networks, radio traffic; every conceivable means of electronic communication between human beings.
It can read your emails. It knows the identity, date, time and duration of every Internet website you have visited, every page you viewed, and every scrap of information you’ve downloaded. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that they have copied and are monitoring the hard drives of every computer that is connected to the Internet, including yours and mine.
If you have a webcam on your computer, I’m told it has the capacity to turn it on surreptitiously, even when the machine is turned off, enabling it to spy on you inside your home complete with sound and pictures.
If you use credit or debit cards, the NSA has the capacity to know the intricate details of every transaction you enter; the groceries you buy; gasoline at service stations, and the items you purchase at Amazon or Wal-Mart; your utility bills; all of it.
If your doctor has stored your medical records electronically, chances are that the NSA already has the complete picture of your health situation, right down to that wart on your butt. If it doesn’t have them now it will get them sooner or later as a consequence of ObamaCare.
It has your tax records and returns, federal, state and local; your bank statements; your brokerage transaction history; elementary, secondary, college and graduate school transcripts; police records; voting records; library books borrowing records; dental records; everything, except perhaps your handwritten diary locked in your home safe, yet if necessary, it has the clandestine means to acquire that too.
Big Brother now has the capacity to know anything and everything it wants to know about you whether you like it or not. Like I said before: more even than your mother, your wife, your mistress and your best friend combined. Maybe someday soon it will find a way to tap in to your brain and thereby know your every thought. Thankfully, I’ll probably be dead by then.
Get used to it. It’s going to get a lot worse.