You may have noticed a vivid popup when you first visited DDOGamer (or GamerGeoff.com) today. Or maybe you did not, perhaps your popup blocker overpowered it, or perhaps I applied the script incorrectly. Hopefully it worked, and you were rudely interrupted on your way to enjoying what is normally a nice, quiet, escapist read where the worst thing you might encounter is bad haiku.
Because today I am grabbing your attention. On purpose.
Just to get this out of the way right up front; I am not political. On the civic spectrum, My brother is to my right, my wife to my left, and I muddle about in the middle. File me somewhere between “centrist” and “apathetic”.
But this goes beyond politics. This is just insane. How can any of us know that all of this is going on and not care?
This is wrong.
And this is wrong.
And this is wrong.
And especially, this is wrong.
And we have no idea what else is wrong because the programs are so secret that even the Senate Intelligence Committee does not have sufficient clearance to be told everything. When they do learn something, they are gagged and unable to tell us about it even when it alarms them.
The court that supposedly adjudicates surveillance activities is secret too. Secret judges meeting in secret to make secret rulings after secret hearings that only the government is allowed to attend.
And when somehow, someway, information makes it out to the public in spite of all this, the NSA is perfectly willing to lie about it.
To me, the most amazing part of this entire story is how little everyone appears to care. The secrets are out, and our response seems to be a collective yawn. Why? Do you think all of this makes us safer? Because it doesn’t.
Just to double-check, you’re cool with the fact that the government is building back doors into your computer and router before it leaves the manufacturer? It doesn’t bother you that the GCHQ (the British NSA) watches you through your webcam?
It bothers me. It bothers the hell out of me.
And it bothers a few other people too. I’m participating in the Reset the Net campaign because I have too. I have to. I doubt it will do anything. We seem powerless against the faceless minions plotting the end of our rights and privacy in their DC conference rooms and white board sessions.
But we have to try even if all we are doing is flipping a nicely-designed graphic finger at The Man. Screw you, NSA, and all those like you, screw you! There are tools and practices available to protect ourselves from the worst of your abuses. More are coming online all the time, easier to use and more powerfully encrypted.
Today we talk, and dress up our websites, and make obscene gestures in your direction. Webcam this, NSA!
Tomorrow we install real encryption.
Shame on you NSA! Shame on you GCHQ! And especially, shame on you James Clapper! Shame on you all for what you have done. Shame on everyone who helped you, whether Democrat or Republican, you’ve undone us all, turned us over to the modern day equivalent of the Stazi.
And shame on us for sitting back and just taking it.
No more. It is time to take our net back.