One word (I think): “XKeyscore”

So, for those of you who haven’t really been following the Snowden thing (that would be me included,) he’s the guy who leaked secret government information and is now seeking asylum in Russia (supposedly from prosecution, more likely from assassination for treason.)

One of the most recently revealed “dirty secrets” is an NSA data collection tool called XKeyscore.

According to documents provided by Snowden, XKeyscore “allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”  (source)

I can’t pretend to know or understand all the ways the government violates our rights and our privacy every day.  I mean… Monsanto.  Need I say more on that?

For a brief overview of how XKeyscore works, you can check out this link.  For me, knowing the principal behind it is enough.  It has been suggested by some that “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”  I’d warrant that after 9/11, more people began to value a feeling of security over personal privacy.  Increased security in airports, for instance…  Who cares if you have to be patted down, as long as it keeps someone with a bomb or box cutter off your plane, right?

Here’s the problem.  These are sound prinicipals.  But given the out-of-control mutation of capitalism in this country, they are idealistic more than realistic. I guess the real fear for many people, myself included, is the anticipation of when (not if) the government decides that any activism or criticism of said government is “doing something wrong.”   The real fear is when people start getting selectively prosecuted, based on whose bottom line they are threatening…  I can see this getting abused by big business and government officials who want to keep their “online antics” (Mr. Weiner?) under raps

I can envision a country where  “pirates” get hit with criminal charges for downloading movies and music for personal use, while pedophiles and online predators go unchecked, so long as they don’t cost anyone “important” any money.

Cynical?  Maybe.  But is it far off the mark?  Sadly, I don’t think so.

*I do not own this image...please don't arrest me

*I do not own this image…please don’t arrest me

8 responses to “One word (I think): “XKeyscore”

  1. You’re singing my song, sister. I hate this faux security thing we’ve got going on these days. I always get the pat-down at the airport because I can’t go through the scanner for medical reasons (nor can I get approved for the pre-check program for some mysterious reason, despite the fact that I am not a criminal). I was waiting for said pat down one day, and I saw they made a pregnant woman endure the same procedure. I expressed my sympathy to her, saying I felt it foolish that they just didn’t let her through. Her response disappointed me – “I don’t mind, it keeps me safe.” Really, patting down innocent pregnant women keeps you safe? Patting you down keeps you from what… harming yourself? If you’re really that dangerous, perhaps you should be in a mental hospital as opposed to flying.

    • I guess the point is they don’t want to take it for granted who is “innocent”, and just figure you never know who could be a “terrorist.” But I don’t trust them to be appropriate about when, where, how, and why they do what they do. Thanks for taking time to comment!

  2. Hello Red Queen 🙂 Sorry it’s been so long. This blog was originally only supposed to be a class project… but alas, it’s become something else entirely as of today 🙂 i’m so glad to see you’re still posting regularly! When I have some time I’ll try to catch up on some of your older stuff!!!

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