FBI, CIA, NSA & USG
Not to be mean-spirited, but I have to let everyone on a little secret, and if it comes as a stunning surprise, well, then, you are either an idiot or so naive that you need to accept that fact and move on in the future and guard your information more carefully. Any of your personal information is public, and if its public, its available to the Government and if its not available to the public, it certainly is to the Government.
Long before the Patriot Act after September 11, 2011 which allows wiretapping, email monitoring, etc, any of your personal information has been available. Did you grow up in the 1970s? If you did then you know of a phone book which contained all the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone who lived in your town, or state for that matter. Today, we go online to the internet to access that information, even if there are some companies that want to profit and charge you a fee for something what was once free, but in any or either case, its always been public and its always been available.
Do you know what social networking was in the 1970s? It was CB and short wave radio. And yes, it was monitored in case there was someone in an emergency broadcasting on the wrong channel. Its the FCC who rule over all broadcast media. Yes, in the beginning for language and cursing, but other things as well. However, its always been there. Some time after 9/11/2001 there came these other agencies to protect us from terrorism. While the name and the offices and legalities have changed, they have always been there. So don’t act surprised. If you want to buy some pot from a friend the town over and you don’t know he is part of a major gang the FBI is hunting, don’t think that is violating your civil liberty. In fact, while it might seem harmless on your end, you are funding a gang member who has weapons who is part of a larger organization and yes, you deserve to be monitored. If you are that desperate for a fix, buy wine, whiskey or grow your own pot if you are under 21 and cannot buy alcohol legally.
Personally, I don’t care who reads my email, especially the FBI. If you are not doing something that connects directly with terrorism, you don’t need to worry. If you are a married Congressman or member of Senate who is having an affair on the side, again, no need to worry UNLESS that person is a known terrorist and/or part of an extremist group looking to cause harm or acts of terrorism against the USA or the country you live in. Otherwise, its just an affair, and no one is going to expose them for that. Yes, its a moral issue, but not one that is a threat to national security. So if anyone sends a text or email to another person stating “meet me at midnight and where your black leather garter belt” – that is not going to show up in public. Unless, of course, the person in the black leather garter is a known operative for the KGB, Al Queda, KKK or any other such organization who poses a threat to national security or innocent civilians.
So, the last question is “Why is my mobile phone company giving out my personal records” – again, its very simple: any given day there are thousands of threats in a country who has 300 million citizens. If you were Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other phone company, would you have the staff to respond to 1,000 calls from the FBI every day? What if there were 10,000 calls each day? Its impossible for any company to function, and knowing they have to surrender the information anyway by law, like any CEO, they would simply say “here are all the records, please do not call us 1,000 or 10,000 times each day”. And, admit it, when you have a problem, do you want to be put on hold for 20-30 minutes by your mobile provider while they are helping the government track down possible threats, or do you just want someone to pick up in 60 seconds so you can ask why your voicemail is full, not working or why you were charged for a call to another country you did not make.
There are many laws out there. One clearly is to help protect us, like murder. And then there are others like driving at 26 MPH instead of 25MPH is illegal and warrants a ticket and a fine. There are often grey areas. No, you should not kill someone, but if that person lunges at you with a knife because he saw you talking to his wife, then yes, you have every right to kill that person in defense as long as its self defense. And, if you are driving at 30MPH in a 25MPH zone with no emergency other than you are in a hurry, yes you should be subject to fines under certain circumstances, but if you are driving at 60-70miles per hour where school children are present, then yes you should be slammed with the highest penalties.
The fact is, your behavior(s) are being monitored. It does not matter if it is 1923 or 2013. Anything illegal is ignored until it becomes a major problem. If you hate the president and wish he were dead, you are entitled to that free thought, but the moment you go buy a poison and mail it directly to the president, they have every right to ransack your house and computer and phone records to see if there is a bigger plot there.
Isn’t this obvious to everyone? Or are we so tied into the media that this is news to us and we should be scared, shocked and form a protest? This idiot Snowden (and yes he is an idiot, not a hero) only damaged this country. Maybe in some strange way he thought he was informing his fellow citizens of behavior he thinks is inappropriate, but he had other ways to do it. He could have gone to a major news source like 60 Minutes. He could have fled to Brazil, Switzerland, Cuba or any other country that is neutral and/or anti-American. But he chooses China? China is still a communist country. China is still our adversary, we might do a lot of trade with them, but at the end of the day, they are still a threat to our economy, security, they cyber spy on us, and again, are communist, which means we should have no contact with them, but that is a whole other topic.
If you want to talk about having kinky sex, that is not a crime. If you want to talk about how much you hate our president, that is not a crime. If you want to talk about how you hate to wait in line at Starbucks in front of people who can’t decide what they want and wish they were dead, that is not a crime. However, if you make an attempt on anyone’s life, and if kinky sex does involve someone who is not consenting and/or under age, then you do have something to worry about, and if thats the case, be prepared to be arrested whether or not you “think” its your right to do so because its not always perfectly legal to monitor phone or internet conversations.
Its business as usual, move along, nothing to see here. If you don’t want the government to see, don’t post it on facebook like “i just cheated on my taxes” and certainly do not think that anything you say/do is NOT public. IT is, and its for your own protection, if you are doing something wrong and don’t want to be caught, be more clever, or accept the fact that you are a harm to society and the FBI is doing us a favor by monitoring your behavior. Again, secretly telling someone in the office that you have a crush on her/him isn’t enough to expose you as a national security risk, so focus on the bigger picture when you think your privacy is at risk.