Why Are Edward Snowden and NSA PRISM Scaring Us?
The NSA: Are “they” out to get you? Unless you’re horrible, I would almost be willing to bet not. [Image shared by Will Hart via Flickr]
Coming off of Edward Snowden’s release of documents that showcase what theorists have already been touting for decades now: a government “need” for our personal records from both phones and Internet. There are banks built from the ground up with the intention of housing broad sweeps of our personal records and they’re utilized whenever there’s a requirement for the information. The NSA (National Security Agency) is spying on us all!

Welcome to the New Age.

Is the NSA Violating Our Constitutional Rights?

People are either enraged or terrified; I sit in neither camp and, trust me, that’s a weird place to be. The angered lift their pitchforks high and recite the Constitution as if that slip of paper will stop a damned thing. I can promise you that nobody lifts their chin during Congress hearings and says “But, but guys… the Bill of Rights. The Constitution! Justice! Freedom!” because it’s not about that. Nobody is going to protect your browser history in the name of freedom, ladies and gentlemen.

Then there lie the scared and the skittish folks who worry about everything being massively controlled and those rights that they banked on being taken away from them.

What Dirt Does the NSA Have on You?

Those are the ones I worry about, to be honest. With a palm to their shoulder, I wish I could kindly whisper in their ears that the NSA doesn’t give a good goddamn about what you’re doing. If you fear that your privacy is being invaded, and you fear the intrusive eyes of Big Brother, you have more to do with it than you think — and perhaps that’s just as much on you as it is on the government. I need you to wake up now, okay? Take your iPhone out of your hands, stop tweeting about your lunch, and listen up.

The masses are already live and direct; you’re feeding the machines and downloading everything at an incredible rate. With wristbands that tell the Internet your every step taken and just how high your heart rate goes up, phones that can tell anyone where you are at any time, and computers becoming portable enough to access the Internet from anywhere, you are without restrictions. You tether your phone to your laptop, your laptop to your brain, your brain to the Internet, and then you want to know why they have an interest in your information?

But You Already Invited the Vampire into Your House…

Without going all Fight Club rhetoric on the lot of you, you’ve given everyone your information freely in order to… give everyone your information freely. You signed up for those websites that give you access to being social with strangers, but you’re worried about strangers looking over your shoulder? You practically handed them the keys to the castle already, but now you’re worried?

It’s time to wake up.

Check it out: at the end of the day, the lot of you have nothing to worry about. Unless you’re up to something, and then, you know what? That’s on you. I don’t get scared about transparency because I have nothing to fear. What I know is that the President has no need for my Internet history. There is no war that is hinging on finding out from what local farm I ordered honey, and there’s no congressional hearing that would be started by finding out what I’ve been watching on RedTube. None of it matters. I’m inconsequential in these debates.

And so are you. Hurts to hear it, I guess, but let’s be honest. If you’re enraged, you’re possibly not seeing the big picture or even what it means to the rest of the country. I’m no terrorist, folks. The authorities don’t want what I’ve got, and so they’re not going to come near me. Why would they? Why would they come after you? Why would they want to know what you are doing? Are you a threat? Bet you’re not. And if you are? I hope they find you.

It’s a revolution, I suppose.

How Will the NSA Use All of This Information?

We have seen such massive, massive tragedy in the past 20 years; some of it comes from foreign soil, and some of it is coming from our own backyard. This is the reality of it, and if we want protection from these tragedies, we have to accept that the authorities charged with preventing them are going to make some new rules. I cannot tell them to do everything in their power to protect my child and me and then, in the same breath, tell them they better be ethical and held accountable to outdated standards. That’s impossible and irrational thinking. Those are the same people who send ricin envelopes to the President when they imagine up a gun recall.

Take a breath and move forward, people. This is it. Yes, your email providers and your cell phone company will deny-deny-deny, and video games will come out that point out just how real it all is. We’re all plugged in and live.

In my world, there is just so much more at stake, and being safe is more important to me than someone wanting to know what I did on my phone or what is in the contents of my laptop. You can have it. If it means you can get to the bottom of these mass-scale tragedies by seeing how much time I spent on Steam, have at it. Any means necessary, you guys. This is life.

I’m sure a lot of you are completely in disagreement with me and I’d love to hear about it. What do you think about the NSA PRISM discussion and the news coming out of whistleblowers from around the world? Are you angry? Are you afraid? Let me know. Tell me what you think I’m not taking into consideration; give me something to ponder! I welcome it.