Spy vs Spy vs You

Okay, this article is just too timely: U.S. to Expand Domestic Use Of Spy Satellites. I wish I was making this up. I wish this wasn’t coming directly from the WSJ. I wish I didn’t see this as an extreme violation of my civil liberties as an American.

According to officials, one of the department’s first objectives will be to use the network to enhance border security, determine how best to secure critical infrastructure and help emergency responders after natural disasters. Sometime next year, officials will examine how the satellites can aid federal and local law-enforcement agencies, covering both criminal and civil law. The department is still working on determining how it will engage law enforcement officials and what kind of support it will give them.

So, it’s okay for them to spy on us – with closed intelligence – just so we might be able to stop criminals from doing the things they’re going to do anyway? Yeah, that’s a pretty big leap of faith, and I have absolutely no faith in this being a good thing. Is this 1984? Big Brother is finally peering into your living room.

Access to the high-tech surveillance tools would, for the first time, allow Homeland Security and law-enforcement officials to see real-time, high-resolution images and data, which would allow them, for example, to identify smuggler staging areas, a gang safehouse, or possibly even a building being used by would-be terrorists to manufacture chemical weapons.

This is your government, folks. What if they thought you were a terrorist because you tried to bring toothpaste onto an airplane without first placing it safely inside a baggie?! Okay, so maybe that’s a bit extreme – but so is their unchallenged ability to WATCH EVERY DAMN MOVE YOU MAKE based on suspicions and no due process.

Unlike electronic eavesdropping, which is subject to legislative and some judicial control, this use of spy satellites is largely uncharted territory. Although the courts have permitted warrantless aerial searches of private property by law-enforcement aircraft, there are no cases involving the use of satellite technology.

More loopholes! w00t!

“This all has to be vetted through a legal process,” he says. “We have to get this right because we don’t want civil-rights and civil-liberties advocates to have concerns that this is being misused in ways which were not intended.”

Sure, because government officials can never be corrupted – nor can they be purchased by any special interest group at any price. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. I put my own life online because I choose to do that – but what about people who value their privacy? I mean, is that something we should so willingly suspend in the hopes that this “intelligence” and technology can help us make this world a safer place?

Then again, does spying make the world a better place?

Your privacy is constantly in jeopardy. It’s not just about blocking third-party cookies, comrades. Just how much of yourself do you no longer own? How much of yourself are you willing to give over to these various online social networks? How much of yourself are you willing to expose to the globe, to nameless / faceless people on the other end of the lens?

This deserves much, MUCH more thought…