How does big brother spy on us?
Since 911 the world has changed. There are thousands of conspiracy theories on how 911 benefited governments around the world to implement new laws enabling them to spy on their citizen without even needing a court order.
There are billions of phone conversations, emails or text based chats taking place every day on this planet. The National Security Agency (NSA) is using facilities like Echolon to intercept and evaluate communications between individuals.
The real challenge the NSA is facing that there is too much data to be evaluated manually. Many people think that certain keywords e.g. “bombe….” would trigger a manual review. Actually it would not trigger a review. Suicide bombers might not be the smartest people on earth, still they are smart enough to be aware of that their communications could be intercepted. It’s very popular with terrorists to use code words to keep their communications secret from outsiders.
How can the NSA evaluate so much information?
The NSA is using highly sophisticated algorithms to determine if a certain conversation should get a manual review.
What are they looking for?
- Location (between which two points does the conversation take place?)
- Voice Patterns (NSA has millions of voice patterns stored of people they are interested in)
- Communication Patterns (how long and how many times are those two individuals communicating)
- Keywords (However they are not looking for individual keywords, it’s more like a combination of certain words).
All information such as financial transactions taking place, travel information, immigration data, cell phone locations are linked together.
All that information linked together gives the NSA and other governments the power to control and monitor its citizen like never before.
The loss of privacy and freedom was first justified with the argument of stopping terrorist attacking western countries.
The issue is once the laws are in place that allow top monitor phone calls or any other kind of information without a court order it will not only be used to fight terrorist but also to monitor average people like you and me. That will lead to the compete loss of privacy and personal freedom in our society. Governments in power can use those tools now available to monitor and track their opposition. Or corrupt officials might sell private information of people in the public view to scrupulous journalists as it happened recently in the UK.
However, they will be always people who know how to play the system and keep their personal identity hidden. They are many ways to escape the surveillance society, e.g. living off the grid, changing your identity etc.
People who choose to live under the radar are in most cases not criminals or terrorist, they just want to protect their privacy and enjoy a live without the fear that every step is monitored by some Government agency.