As if it hadn’t been happening for over a decade, a big stink was made this past week when whistleblower Edward Snowden (ex-CIA and working for private NSA subcontractors Booz Allen Hamilton) let it leak that the NSA was spying on everyone’s everything all the time. Emails, phone records, how much toilet paper we use. The whole nine.
Thanks to my extreme skills as an investigative reporter owing to the years I’ve spent as Managing Editor of this dear paper, I’ve been able to uncover the file kept by the NSA concerning my activity online and in the real world, and I’m now able to make public exactly what they know and how they know it. I do this in the interest of the public record and for the good of our democracy as a whole.
Here’s what the NSA has on me:
1. I don’t call anybody except my wife, my mom and the Aquarian office.
2. I really like that grind-your-own honey roasted peanut butter they have at the Fairway.
3. My Facebook feed is nothing but show flyers and sub-porn.
4. Everything I Google Image search is a band. Usually one I don’t like.
5. 85 percent of my email is press releases.
6. I use the phrase “pretty much” in 9 out of 10 written communications.
7. I use the word “bullshit” at the same frequency.
8. Almost every Aquarian editorial roster includes the above word and phrase.
9. My life does not begin and end with my online presence, but that’s most of it.
What’s the moral here? The government is morally reprehensible, overreaching in its power, and you should be careful what you put out in the world about yourself if you don’t want someone to know it. I mean, I get the outrage and all that, but is this leak really anything new or revealing anything that anyone who’s been paying even the vaguest attention over the last 10-plus years didn’t already know was going on?
George W. Bush did the same crap, and had the technology existed at the time, every single president before him would’ve done it as well and talked the same tripe about the need to balance security and privacy. Barack Obama doing it isn’t a surprise. It’s standard operating procedure. If you want to be mad about it, that’s justified, but it’s not like there’s anything you can do.
You want to cut yourself off from modernity and go live in the desert or the woods? Fine, me too, but nobody actually does it and no one will, and whatever outrage has cropped up as a result of this governmental overstepping won’t actually do anything to upset the balance of power in favor of the general populace, and we’ll progress toward what a century ago probably would’ve seemed like a horrible future dystopia where paranoia, fear and hatemongering rule the day, mindless consumerism is praised and those who speak out against the hegemonic powers that be are discredited, ruined, or just killed outright. What are you going to do, revolt? Yeah right.
Seems like that’s pretty much bullshit.