You should be unnerved by last week’s revelations regarding the United States’ massive surveillance network, PRISM. Very, very unnerved.
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
According to CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the U.S. government has the ability to read your emails, record your phone calls and pretty much do whatever the fuck it wants. No warrant needed. Hardly any judge necessary. Excuse me while I wipe my ass with the (now useless) 4th Amendment of the Constitution. Just for the hell of it, let’s take a look at ole’ Fourthy for old time’s sake:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Okay, that is cool and all, but it certainly isn’t as cool as the Second Amendment – that one is badass. This just sounds like a bunch of whining about paperwork and brain seizures or something. Bor-ing.
So how exactly is the National Security Administration getting most of this information? Well, your trusty pals at Google, Facebook, Verizon, AT&T, Microsoft, Apple, etc. decided to chip in to this lovely endeavor, god bless them. Thanks for everything, guys. Awesome. Does this mean I have to use a goddamn Blackberry now?! Fuck that. I’d rather be spied on.
Why does no one seem to give a shit about privacy? Does it have something to do with the fact that the current generation is oh-so-quick to sign away their rights with an instantaneous click of the terms of service box? Is it because we rush home to post incriminating pictures of ourselves on Facebook? Is it because we’re distracted by Honey Boo Boo, Call of Duty and Kim Kardashian’s ass? Even Orwell and Huxley wouldn’t have thought it’d be this easy to pull this off. Alas, Big Brother already exists … and he sucks at designing PowerPoint presentations.
Fact is, Americans have known that the NSA is monitoring their phone records with the help of providers – including which numbers called which, and the length of the calls – since USA Today first reported it in 2006.
I was pissed off that no one seemed to give a shit back then, and so I do appreciate Snowden bringing the issue to foreground again, even if he’s being a bit overdramatic in suggesting his government wants to assassinate him. A little late for that, eh? Cat’s out of the bag. I wouldn’t recommend waltzing back into the States anytime soon though, pal. Hope you learned some Mandarin, and said a nice goodbye to your pole-dancing fiancé.