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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,

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Every email, phone call, text message, and video chat is monitored and recorded. Now what?

It wasn't all that long ago, that we could safely presume that our private conversations were not being monitored or recorded on a routine basis. That has changed now. It is safe to assume that every electronic communication that can be recorded is being recorded. This includes every phone call you make or pick up. This is mostly being done by the United States, using massive new data centers being built in places like the state of Utah, but many other countries are in the game too.

The official line is that we're doing this for national defense. Just in case some evil chatter comes across, we need to know if someone's planning to nuke a major city, right? And if you've got nothing to hide, then you've got nothing to worry about, right? All those thousands of drone aircraft flying over head in U.S. airspace now, never mind them, right?

With the National Defense Authorization Act in place as law now, it is possible that someone's personal emails will be recorded, interpreted as terrorist "chatter", and then a U.S. citizen could be held in jail indefinitely without any charges being brought and without any recourse. What's happened to my country?

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  • Nov 29 2012: Now what? I hope someone comes up with a method of encryption that cannot be broken.

    "What's happened to my country?"

    The USA that enshrined individual rights is gone, scared away by a bunch of guys wielding box cutters.

    "the land of the free and the home of the brave" is no more. We have already surrendered to terrorism.
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      Nov 29 2012: I agree with you but I know you're simplifying things. Is there no fight left for privacy? Is privacy in America truly dead? Do we need a secure technology to ensure that an unscrupulous government won't pry?

      Why don't more people care about this? Are we like live lobster slowly boiling so we don't notice the loss of our privacy as it slowly escapes until we are dead in terms of privacy?
      • Dec 3 2012: What if the entire public had access to all the information being stored at all times. Would this be fair? Would it enable a completely honest and transparent society?

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