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Saturday, June 15, 2013

THE NSA AND PRIVACY


THE NSA AND PRIVACY
 

A Cranky Old Man opinion for

Cranky Opinion Saturday

 

The following is the opinion of a Cranky Old Man.  Opposing opinions are welcome (wrong, but welcome) but please, no name calling…and that means you, you big stupid head!

 

“You have a right to be silent; anything you say can and will be used against you…”

Apparently the above is now true not just when you are arrested, but at all times!  The NSA (National Security Agency) sometimes known as No Such Agency is collecting information on just about everybody from phone calls and even emails. 

Should we be concerned?

If this information is being used randomly, just for the personal jollies of some idiot government spies, then yes, we should be worried.  

If this information is being used to target political organizations strictly to censure and or harass people with ideas counter to those currently in power, then yes we should be very worried.

If this information is simply stockpiled in a giant computer and used to find patterns of phone calls or comments which may indicate a terrorist plot, sabotage, or serious criminal activity, then go for it NSA.

You can bet that bad people are hacking our computers and scouring emails and phone data to hurt our country in any way that they can.  This activity cannot be monitored or stopped without the NSA doing some of the same surveillance.

What protection do we have against using this potential invasion of privacy to harass or embarrass ordinary US citizens?

First, no one including the NSA gives one rat’s behind about what 99.999% of our citizens are up to.  You are probably safe to continue to have affairs, cheat on your taxes, steal your neighbor’s newspaper and fail to clean up after your dog without the NSA slamming you in irons or telling your wife and neighbors.

If this information is incriminating and could be used against you in some possible crime or indiscression, it would probably not be immiscible in court.

If information was leaked to embarrass or discredit someone, the leaker would be subject to harsh penalties himself.

Look, there is a miniscule chance that this mass collection of information could be used to hurt you.  There is a humongous chance that this information if used correctly could stop another 9-11.  In this day and age of communications technology we cannot just stick our heads in the sand and assume that we have complete privacy from government data gathering.  We should assume the data will be used responsibly and if it is not then those responsible for misuse will be prosecuted.

If we do not allow some potential invasion of our privacy, if we do not use technology to help protect us, then we will suffer greater abuses from outside sources than our own government could possible inflict upon us.

If you are that worried about your privacy, then get the hell off Facebook, stop blogging, quit tweeting, treat your emails as if they were letters which could be found lying around by anyone, and don’t plan your next bank robbery over a cell phone.

If you have nothing to hide, relax and rest assured that if any agency begins to use this data in an unscrupulous manner they will be caught…our press is just as good at spying as anyone at the NSA.

The preceding has been the opinion of a Cranky Old Man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.
 

 A rare Cranky apology

Last week’s opinion post was hurtful to some readers who are suffering from a weight problem (I need to drop 35 pounds myself).  This was not my intent; I was simply using satire to highlight the need to make some changes in our culture to reduce the plague of obesity.

I apologize to those whom I hurt by my comments; I have total empathy for the fact that many people are gravity challenged because of genetics and not sloth.      

13 comments:

  1. This data may be used to prevent a 9/11 but if any person who has access to this information(and there are tens of thousands of them) ...if any one of these is a nutjob, has a personal agenda, wants money, is determined to make a point...then we ARE at risk.

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  2. This is a touchy topic, Cranky. On the face of it I can't disagree with what you say. If some computer algorithm can pick up certain words in conversation that would lead to breaking up a terrorist attack, then this snooping would be worthwhile. But it is a very slippery slope. If we allow X, then why not Y and Z? We don't know where it will lead next.

    It gets back to "trust". Do you trust the US Government? I don 't. They have given us ample reason for me to think this way. I would just like to see some direct relationship between "probable cause" and government surveillance.

    Very thought provoking. :)

    S

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  3. The Cranky Old Man has a great deal of trouble not responding to comments on these opinion posts. I have a last word issue. Let me reiterate, in case I have already iterated it, I encourage and
    respect all opinions, but my opinion is the correct one and is not subject to change except in very unusual situations...or if management tells me to change.

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  4. I sense I've ruffled your feathers Cranky. Please, counterpoint. I like hearing your intelligent thoughts, even if they aren't 100% in agreement with mine. And *gasp* I've even been known to change my opinion.

    S

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  5. Edward Snowden notwithstanding, I agree with you. From a bleeding heart liberal who will leave it to our grandchildren to sort the terrorists and the debt.

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  6. I agree with you, reluctantly. It's a pity that such surveillance is necessary, but in this day & age, it is. I learned a new word today--immiscible. Thanks!!

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  7. i say monitor all you want. if it stops just one terrorist, then, so be it.

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  8. I think the Government has done a good job of keeping us safe after 9/!!. I wasn't in favor of the Patriot Act by I don't understand why people have their panties in a bunch over this. No phone calls are guaranteed to be private. Remember part lines? Or the operator breaking in? Your point is well made about people publishing every thought in their head on the Social Media and then getting upset people are listening.

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  9. Well, as someone who is on Facebook and has a TMI blog ... with absolutely nothing that would cause any concern anywhere at anytime to the national security ... it really doesn't bother or surprise me that such monitoring goes on.

    The Patriot Act began all this ... gotta be some way to intercept the bad guys' stuff. What better way than to check airwaves ... the frequency of said airwaves to certain areas.

    I am an old woman in a minivan. I had to stop with everyone else along the border of Mexico. AND even though ... I knew I did not have any illegal aliens or drugs in my van ... when the dogs came sniffing about and the border patrol looked into my van?

    It gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush ... OR how about the little kids and people in wheelchairs being searched at airports...

    I tell ya... the terrorists and 9/11 created the necessity for tighter security changes.

    It's war, y'all.

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  10. Personally I don't have any secrets, in fact many of my friends tell me I need to work on being more circumspect, so it doesn't really upset me the way it seems to upset other people.

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  11. My mom used to scoff at me when we heard clicking on the line during our phone calls. "It's the Feds snooping on us," I'd tell her. "Time to change the subject."

    She called me a crazy conspiracy theorist, although in more polite Mom-words. I'm having the last laugh now.

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  12. A Retired Federal Judge has advised me that the practice of getting information on whom a person has called and who has called a person has been in effect for over 50 years with a legal basis that people should not expect privacy of this information as it is in the records of the phone company. Content of said calls is only legally collected with a judges approval of a wire tap if probable cause has been demonstrated. Such a grant is not taken lightly or granted casually.

    The mass collection of call data (NOT CONTENT) is an extension of a practice which is well established and been I place for since the 1930's

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  13. OOPS! "NSA Admits Listening to U.S. Phone Calls Without Warrants"

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57589495-38/nsa-admits-listening-to-u.s-phone-calls-without-warrants/

    ReplyDelete

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