For those who think the NSA’s surveillance sweep of your private phone calls and emails is protecting you from terrorists, think again. So far, the only thing these sweeps have done is relieve NSA workers from boredom every time one of them comes across a nude photo of someone who is attractive and/or who is in a sexually compromising photo.
According to Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance tactics, NSA employees routinely circulate nude photographs discovered in their data sweeps. He said that he had observed employees passing around “sexually compromising” photos picked up during surveillance, that had nothing to do with their work.
In a lengthy video interview with The Guardian, he explained how these sexually explicit photos that were picked up in the data surveillance sweeps went viral among NSA employees.
Snowden was quoted as saying, “It’s never reported, no one ever knows about it because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. The fact that your private records, your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communication stream, from your intended recipient, by the government without any specific need, is a violation of your rights.”
Interestingly enough, the NSA responded to the claim in an email to Forbes, but did not confirm or deny the practice.
It’s scary how prophetic George Orwell’s book, 1984 has become. It’s twenty years after his predictions were supposed to come to pass, but my guess is that these things were already in the making by the overreaching arms of big government at the time Orwell’s book was written.
I remember when we shuddered at the thought that “Big Brother” was watching us. It was in the days before computers came on the market, before the Internet, before Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and zillions of dating apps, and people were afraid to talk on the telephone or have private conversations, lest they be overheard by government agencies. And now it has become our reality.
We are no longer a democracy and it’s time we stopped fooling ourselves. It’s also hypocritical of us to try to impose our failed ideology on other countries. We need to figure out a way to restore our founding fathers’ concept of democracy before we try to impose it on anyone else.