Just as the news broke yesterday about the National Security Agency’s monitoring of common Americans, I was paying my Verizon bill, wireless and residential, and on-line yet. (Yes, I live in one of those godforsaken areas that was part of the GTE monopoly that became Verizon).
For a second, I thought about not paying the bill out of protest. But then I figured maybe the government might be concerned if they couldn’t keep tabs on me. They might miss me or think the worst, like maybe that I have gone over to the dark side—joining those who really want privacy in this overexposed, everything out-in-the-open-kind-of-world.
I think that is soon to become the hipper thing these days, anyway.
When everyone zigs, it’s cooler to zag.
Instead of living life so openly, secrecy will be in-in-in. Would Garbo have a Facebook page? Never. And the smart ones won’t.
But don’t tell anyone about it yet. Let’s keep it secret so it will be even hipper. Top Secret. Like the NSA surveillance actions.
Just think of all the stylish changes that will occur. We will all have to meet in person, running around in trench coats, the new look. Fedoras too? Maybe even self-destructing cell phones like in “Mission Impossible.”
The trend toward secrecy is already going strong. How many passwords do you have? And all those e-mail aliases? All that on-line secrecy stuff means we are all being prepped for a life of duplicity–in real life.
Now we have to think about protecting ourselves–from the government.
The government already knows a lot about me. But I guess that isn’t enough.
Maybe this is really a ploy to keep foreigners from wanting to immigrate here. Seems extreme. But so did government’s wholesale surveillance of Americans’ communications records.
Here’s what the U.S. is telling all those potential immigrants—it was as clear as a text message from Verizon Wireless:
Dear Visa Applicant:
Stay home. Yankee Freedom? It’s an illusion.
You won’t really have the freedom here that you think you’ll have.
Have faith in the Third World. We’ll send our American fast-food and products over to you, because you are a market for our companies. But you folks coming here? For what? Freedom? Don’t believe everything you read in Captain America comic books. (We’ve seen his phone records, by-the-way). Honestly, you may have all the freedom you really need right where you are.
It’s all relative.
Do you really want to give up all the great things you have in (insert Third-World country here)?
Signed, your friends at Not-Your-Homeland-Security
You can read my thoughts on Snowden, the LEAKER (I guess he’s more leaker than whistleblower, but let the AP Stylists debate that). The question really is has he done a service to all freedom loving Americans, or is he a traitor?
See my piece at www.aaldef.org/blog
One thing I know is my reaction to Snowden is markedly different than it was to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. In fact, my knee jerk reaction was to side with the GOVERNMENT. How dare we be so violated, right?
The idea of the leaks seemed intrusive. But as we found, those leaks were so broad and nebulous that there was still a lot of sifting to be done for some real nuggets. As a result, I’m not sure if anything really came out of those leaks that really made an impact in my life.
And that’s the difference. Snowden’s leaks are a direct affront on American civil liberties. The NSA’s actions, while broad, touch me as a Verizon customer. I don’t have to wonder whether Gadhafi’s sexual escapades really matter. I know that in a broad collection of data, my digits are caught in the net. That’s not the way it should work in America. Maybe all the young techies who live in full public view in social media don’t mind, but people who remember and value privacy, as well as those who value the freedoms given to us by the constitution, need to be heard from now.