By Jeff Girod
That’s because the National Security Agency this week admitted that it is currently collecting telephone records for millions of U.S. citizens on an “ongoing, daily basis . . . indiscriminately and in bulk, regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing,” according to The Guardian.
In addition, the NSA has been running a classified program called PRISM—which stands for Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management— and has been extracting all of your email, audio and video chats, photographs, documents and other private material while working with Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, Google, Apple, PalTalk, YouTube and Skype.
And all this time I thought I had to mail in my taxes. Turns out I can just speak them into YouTube.
Of course our government leaders assure you there’s nothing to worry about.
“Everybody should just calm down,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a recent press conference. “It’s a program that’s worked to prevent not all terrorism, but certainly a vast majority of it . . . a vast majority of it . . . a vast majority of it.”
Remote-controlled Senator Reid is right! Without PRISM shadowing my every move, how would the NSA ever know that I think the Lakers suck, we’re out of toilet paper or that my mom doesn’t think I call or email her enough? Terrorist plots averted!
I’ll make the NSA this trade: They can record every tweet I make, every FaceChat I take—but when I go to the airport I get to keep on my belt and shoes. (Thanks to the NSA’s spy program, they should already know that I buy my fashionable accessories at Braids ‘n’ Thangs.)
I guess I should be offended by all this invasion of privacy. But, honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to eavesdrop on my life. I’m just not that interesting. Snooping on me would be like stalking a potted fern.
Most of the time I’m only half-listening to myself talk. I can’t even remember what I had for lunch. If I shut my eyes, I have no idea if I’m wearing pants.
And let’s be honest, nobody else is that interesting either. So when a report says that the NSA is recording millions of our phone calls . . . c’mon. Really? Why?
What are they really getting? I only have 220 Facebook friends and most of their status updates are pictures of plates of food, blurry baby videos and misspelled updates about Game of Thrones.
This is our government we’re talking about. These are the same people who mismanaged the DMV and Postal Service, and ran our libraries into the ground. If you’re a librarian, you have a brighter future career working at GameStop.
Just because the government records everything we say, doesn’t mean anyone is actually going to hear it. That vital information you’re so desperately trying to hide? It’s probably going to stay hidden, stuck to the bottom of some G-man’s wingtip, or scribbled on the back of a coupon for X-ray specs.
That the NSA essentially has unfettered access to everything we say, hear, see, record, download, type, like or share is astounding. Not just because it’s an incredible invasion of privacy and our constitutional rights. But more importantly, with all of that insider information, how is Vice President Joe Biden still such a bumbling doofus? And why can’t President Obama ever pick a winning bracket for the NCAA Final Four?
If the NSA is tapping our every move, then the only groups who should still be getting away with crime are the Amish. Yet terrorism and tragedies persist. So what are we really gaining by giving away our freedom?
And the real terrorism here is that we’re not even willingly giving away our freedom. Nobody told the American people we were being spied on.
Our privacy was stolen without warning. It was decided without a vote—and with only some vague notion that we were being “saved” from an even darker, more sinister threat.
I’d encourage you to contact your local congressman. But just start typing on a blank screen. It will get read.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.