[Image Source: Nation of Change]
This is the post I had hoped I would never have to write. Unfortunately, I’ve checked this out, and it’s all true. Disgustingly, frighteningly true. The NSA is not just looking at your metadata, which as we’ve reported, is bad enough (and highly unconstitutional). They’re actually recording and storing every possible scrap of data of yours…including the CONTENT of your emails, phone calls, and internet activity. Recording and storing, just in case they can use it later against you. We’ve reported a bit on this as well, but it’s so much worse than any of us ever knew.
For example, the government is photographing the outside information on every piece of snail mail.
The government is spying on you through your phone … and may even remotely turn on your camera and microphone when your phone is off.
As one example, the NSA has inserted its code into Android’s operating system … bugging three-quarters of the world’s smartphones. Google – or the NSA – can remotely turn on your phone’s camera and recorder at any time.
Moreover, Google knows just about every WiFi password in the world … and so the NSA does as well, since it spies so widely on Google.
But it’s not just the Android. In reality, the NSA can spy on just about everyone’s smart phone.
Cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. (And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.) Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do (ProPublica notes: “That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker“). Remember, that might be happening even when your phone is turned off.
NSA also sometimes uses “man-in-the-middle” tactics, to pretend that it is Google or other popular websites to grab your information.
Microsoft has long worked hand-in-hand with the NSA and FBI so that encryption doesn’t block the government’s ability to spy on users of Skype, Outlook, Hotmail and other Microsoft services.
And Microsoft informs intelligence agencies of with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, so that information can be used by the government to access computers. (Software vulnerabilities are also sold to the highest bidder.)
There are enough links here to keep you busy for a while. But I implore you. Click every one. Look at every last one. Read it, take it in and understand that you cannot do anything, say anything, buy anything, or go anywhere without the government knowing what, where, why, and when. Nothing. You are, as Bruce Schneier explains, “under constant surveillance.” Period. You have no more rights. There is no more Constitution. On top of all of it, Obama has made clear that he no longer cares about the limits of his executive power—if he ever did.
What can you do? Start here. It’s a 3-hour free workshop on the Tor network and other ways to fight for your privacy by taking it back. Take the time.
Stop making huge trails of data. A few places giving out your data that you don’t normally think of: Your grocery store loyalty card, pizza delivery place, and the bumper stickers on your car that announce where your honor student goes to school, what groups and networks you’re in, and lots more. Bottom line is, you need to change the way you live. Period.
JJ Luna is a privacy expert and consultant who has written several books on how to take back your privacy. If you can’t afford to drop a few dollars to buy his books, read his website. He’s got an incredible amount of information and advice on his website.
The rubber is meeting the road. Do you really care about all of this? Does it really bother you that the federal…Continued here: