[Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of SOHH]
1. Start Getting Scared
You ever see those movies, you know, the really, really, really bad ones that’s from the 1980′s and is all about the government being behind end-of-the-world destruction and you’ve got really crappy editing in all of the fight sequences? Yeah, well, that’s kinda what it looks like we’re going in 2013, thanks to the government. It’s no secret that there’s cameras everywhere and that the government probably knows more about us than our parents, side chicks and family members, but to the extreme that we’re starting to learn about now? Verizon phone calls (thank God I have T-Mobile), Skype, Google/Yahoo searches, huh?
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post. The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” (Washington Post)
And don’t worry, you know there’s always that statement that’s supposed to make us feel like this is for our own good:
President Obama, speaking publicly for the first time about his administration’s mass collection of phone and Internet data, said Friday that the programs have made a difference in tracking terrorists and are not tantamount to “Big Brother.” Obama addressed the mounting controversy about the programs during remarks in California, ahead of a highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. As the administration moves to declassify some of the details about those programs, Obama assured that his administration is trying to strike the right “balance.” “In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we’ve struck the right balance,” Obama said. Obama acknowledged that the U.S. government is collecting reams of phone records, including phone numbers and the duration of calls, but said this does not include listening to calls or gathering the names of callers. “Nobody’s listening to the content of people’s phone calls,” Obama said. (Fox News)
All of you married pervs can relax now, there’s no worries about the government hearing your 1-900 phone calls! LOL. That all still doesn’t calm me down with the social sites they’re examining now. Let’s be honest, there’s been some e-mails that you wish you could take back, especially during the prime of MySpace. LOL. Guess we’ll have to wait to find out just how much info will be provided. All you nerds out there better clear out your hard drives or get a back-up! LOL.