Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Some humorous thoughts on internet and communication surveillance
Some people are getting worried about the fact that America’s NSA and the UK’s GCHQ are spying on our e-mails, our internet traffic and our phone calls and it is indeed worrying to a certain extent but nothing that people should get into too much of a tizzy about. Let’s face it - you weren’t worried before you knew, were you?
Yes, the NSA has banks of computers that are programmed to trigger deeper surveillance if certain words are used in e-mails, messages or blogs, such as “democracy”, “freedom of speech”, “bomb”, “terrorist”, “assassination”, “porn” or “bisexual cum-guzzling sluts” but that just means that you have to be more careful how you word your ‘War on Terror’ themed orgy invitations.
The same computers even check on everything you post on your chosen social media platform to make sure that anything you post isn’t genuinely the activity of a terror suspect or someone who just wants true democracy. Either way, the NSA will keep an eye on you as a subversive because anyone who wants true democracy is a danger to the status quo (the establishment, not the band).
It’s also true that the NSA has a legion of people listening into your private phone calls too. Probably thousands of them. All this really means is that you have to be careful when making your dirty phone calls or when prank calling random numbers (“Is your refrigerator running? Yes? Well, you best get after it then!”).
Don’t forget to stress the words ‘ice cream’ when you are placing an order for an ice cream bombe from your local patisserie or make the context of any words that could be potentially misinterpreted when spoken.
Some words, however, cannot be misinterpreted and you must be ready to face the consequences of saying that “democracy” doesn’t exist in your country or that politicians should be made “accountable”.
Of course, the NSA is the greater threat to freedom of internet and telecommunications because they have the resources to throw behind such nefarious work. Here in the UK, the work is carried out by GCHQ whose total resources comprise of a septuagenarian busybody called Gladys who uses one of the old-style telephone exchange boards to listen in to random phone calls and a steam-driven computer from the 1960s that allows Gladys to pick random e-mails to read while she continues to knit. GCHQ were going to update the computer to one that ran on electricity generated by peddling on an exercise bike but Gladys has terrible arthritis can couldn’t peddle so they’re waiting until she dies at her post before upgrading.
So, if you live in the UK, if you hear a click-click-click on the phone, give Gladys a shout out or place little messages to her in your e-mails to let her know you’re thinking of her.
Finally, don’t be scared about the level of intrusion into your personal correspondence and internet outpourings because at least it means that someone out there is listening to you and isn’t that what everyone wants?