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Spying

By Michael Reisig

With the advent of so many new, mind-boggling technologies, spying has become easier than ever before. We clandestinely seek information on each other now in unprecedented terms – companies spy on each other while they rifle through their customers’ personal emails, and forays onto the web. Governments spy on their nation’s businesses and on other government’s enterprises, and we spy on each other with new technologies that are being made available almost daily, like Google’s new computer glasses. Our National Security Agency is no longer even trying to defend allegations of its expansive spy networks, admitting it has trillions of phone calls and emails in its data bases. All NSA has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it can search that database, allowing them to listen to the calls or read the emails stored there, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that have been entered. In addition, their systems alert them to any further activity that individuals connected to that email address or that IP address practice in the future.

Supposedly, there are legal constraints involved, and the NSA can’t focus on an individual without going to court for permission, but the truth is, they can listen to anything you say or write with impunity, to every telephone call, email, or visit you make to Google, Yahoo, or anywhere else. Not terribly comforting, is it?

There’s a lot more going on nowadays about the invasion of privacy and spying practices in America than most of us hear about. Our administration is defending the necessity of this with arguments regarding other nations and terrorist groups that need to be observed. But here’s the twist – the part I don’t understand. When we catch terrorists, we refuse to call them terrorists and we try them as civilians. If you take a moment to think about that, you have to come to the conclusion that ultimately, the only people being spied upon in America are civilians. Our Director of National Intelligence, John Clapper (an Obama appointee), has basically been caught red-handed lying to the American Congress about the prevalent use of NSA’s new spyware, but as we’ve seen before, if you work for Mr. Obama, it takes a lot to unseat you.

You can already purchase software that allows you to monitor employee’s computers, or your children’s computers. Inevitably, what we are beginning to hear about, is software that allows individuals to spy on individuals, and with this a whole new industry of ground-level graft and extortion will blossom in America and around the world. With the unprecedented speed of new technological developments we have opened Pandora’s Box. Our children will live in a world of zero privacy. There will be a camera on them wherever they go. They will not speak, write, record, or listen to a single word that can’t be accessed by someone else, living in a time where privacy will be as rare as clean air or water.

George Orwell would have been so saddened to have been so right.

The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.