Time to talk about the recent scandal plaguing the American government. It has come to our attention that They (there really is a “they” now…) have access to everything we do online, with our cell phones and pretty much anything else. They gather all our data–all meaning the data of every citizen using the information highway–and use it for the safety of the country. Safety, of course, being used loosely here.
I’ve asked several people about their thoughts on this. Sadly, no one is surprised. I guess all those threats of the ubiquitous permanent record prepared us well. Also, the people I know are apparently boring, because they’ve all said the same thing: “I’ve got nothing to hide.”
I really need to meet some trouble makers…
I’m sure people will point the finger at President Obama. But let’s get this straight: our rights have been chipped away since September 11, 2001. The minute people were afraid of another attack, we gave the government carte blanche on how they protected us. Except we forgot to demand that we be protected from them.
Also, the President did not do this on his own. Every member of Congress knew this was happening and were fine with it. A few might have been in opposition, but there weren’t enough to keep it from happening.
When no one raised a huge commotion over the requirements to board a plane, we pretty much laid down and said, “do what you will.” For god’s sake, we let these people xray us! You don’t get any more transparent than that! We let them frisk our kids and our elderly. We take our shoes off for them! But I digress…
I have no idea how the spy game works. They are gathering information and it gets filtered. (For more information, watch this.) I think they have a list of keywords that signals a communication needs further attention. (Luckily I just watched Three Days of the Condor so I’ve got an idea of how it works. Of course, now computers scan documents, not book readers.)
So how do we give the government hell? We could all turn off every electronic device we own and go back to local television and pen and paper. I’ve been missing handwritten letters, so that could be a new way to communicate. I would have to start writing checks again and mail in my bills. Heck, I might not want a bank account any more since it’s probably being monitored also. (I wonder if my craft supply addiction has set off any alarms in Spyville?) IBM better start manufacturing electric typewriters again so I can write!
I’m afraid, though, that if we take away the Information Highway, we will leave the Spyville minions with to much time on their hands. They’ll just get into other mischief. They’re like toddlers like that, I’m sure. But we could just overload them with information.
We’ll go about our business, continuing to use our electronics as we do, but with a few added features. For example, instead of signing my emails “hugs,” I will sign them “overthrow.” I will use Al Qaeda as a new curse word when I write. “Al qaeda to hell!” “Al qaeda you!”
Every ten words, I’ll add “methamphetamine” in brackets. You’ll know it’s meaningless, but the government won’t be able to take that chance. I mean, they already want my id when I buy cold medicine because I might be cooking meth in the shed.
Everywhere I go will be Cuba. “I’ve got to run to Cuba and pick up prescriptions.” “Going to Cuba to catch a game!”
If I could get my hands on the actual keyword watch list I would be dangerous. And you could be too. I’ve got time on my hands, I will help you.
If all of us do this, they won’t be able to keep up. They’ll rip their hair our and rend their garments. They will give us back our privacy in a hurry.
This is all I’ve got. The reality is to overwhelming to truly ponder. George Orwell was apparently clairvoyant.