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Tech Talk Tuesday: Digital Privacy

Updated: Tuesday, December 24 2013, 12:12 AM MST
Tech Talk Tuesday: Digital Privacy story image

By Lonnie Valencia

In my best singing voice, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me.  And I have no privacy. Whoa!  I always feel like somebody’s watching me. Tell me is it just a dream?”
Big brother is always watching!  In today’s tech talk, the number one way to stay off the radar and why some think this invasion of privacy is good for us.

It used to be that if a google search lead you to some shady website (we’ve all been there, don’t act like you haven’t) the browser history and cookies were your worst enemies.  Now, even if you wipe your computer clean, there’s some government server that has everything about that event.  Somewhere stored away on a hard drive is your dirty little secret with your login time, a picture of you time stamped, the website that you went to - all there ready to be leaked for the world to see.  Oooo the shame!  That’s the idea that most of us have, right?  

Well, with what's going on in the news regarding NSA activity,  that could be close to the truth.  So conspiracy theorists, you got pretty close on this one, I’ll give you that. To even further their conspiracy, the NSA was caught gaming on Xbox Live, World of Warcraft, and Second Life.  All this snooping in the hopes to catch terrorists using these networks as a way to communicate to each other.  The only problem was the NSA found, that like everyone else, the terrorist just were gaming along with the rest of the nerds and gamers.  I guess they too, need to get away from it all and get their game on.  

So right now a U.S. District Court Judge says the NSA’s collection program is violating the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.  The Judge stated in his 68 page opinion that the government could not cite one instance in which the program stopped a terrorist attack.  

Take that you overly intrusive spy program, you came up with nothing!  So give us back our digital privacy.  Wait!  Some say that having the government poking around is a good thing.  That it’s a blanket of security even if it means we suspend the rights of the many to track the evil few.  So what?  The program didn’t exactly stop terrorism by itself.  What if the info it collected in a roundabout way gave us the upper hand and saved lives? Is the program now worth what the U.S. District Court Judge is calling it’s efforts unconstitutional?  Some would agree.  

All that said, I would have to set aside this debate for better people then me to decide.  Personally, I would like to game or surf the web without having to think twice about what I say or do.  Then again, I’ve not felt the loss of a loved one to a terrorist attack and saying flat out, “No,” to all types of monitoring feels like I’m dishonoring the ones that have.

So tell me what you think about this situation.  Are you going to start putting black tape over your webcams?  Do you even think you’re that important to track? Ooo... and I almost forgot, I promised to tell you how to stay off the grid.  You can’t!  If big brother wants to know what you are up to, they will find you. Sorry!

As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Digital Privacy
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