|Americans Are Shocked At the Extent of NSA Spying|
NSA Scandal Exposes Hypocrisy of Americans
There has been a lot of talk lately about Edward Snowden, the NSA Leaker, exposing to the country what I and many others knew all along, which is AMERICA SPIES on its own Citizens. Even those that are in no way connected to Terrorism. The country's security apparatus is compiling major databases of where we live, work, travel, who we know and converse with, as well as various communication methods we use.
Americans have pretended to be shocked by this news. But I can't see why. If you google your name, most likely you will come across websites such as Radaris, Intelius, Zabasearch, People Search, Free Public Records, etc. which collect data on everyone they can and combine this data all in one place to be deciphered by whomever for whatever reason. Where you live, and where you have lived as well as where you work, your photos, your family members, addresses of various contacts, phone numbers, emails, and everything else they can find out about you.
Facebook and Google have also compiled major databases about you and other Americans. Information that you legally can't request to be removed.
The three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion and Experian are also providing more and more information about you on your credit reports, often information which has nothing to do with the original intent of the credit report which was to show creditors your credit worthiness. All types of extraneous information is being included in the credit files of each and every one of us. There have even been allegations that certain individuals were referred to as "terrorists" and "fraudsters" on their credit reports prompting lawsuits.
We Live in A New Era Where There IS NO PRIVACY. We need to come to the conclusion of whether we are going to finally do something about this, or simply bitch about it.
These companies who troll databases and collect our information justify this abhorrent abuse of privacy standards by pointing to the fact that addresses, places of employment, family members, etc. are all public records and in the public domain already. Many courthouses now are automatically uploading personal, private information onto Google as well. They are using Google as a personal storage database. Good thing Google erases social security numbers or the internet would be flooded with those too.
I have seen all of this take place in a relatively short number of years while Americans have stood idly by doing "NOTHING". So I could care less if an American is taken aback that our Government is doing the same.
In Europe, the European Union has agreed to push through legislation called "The Right To Be Forgotten" that Google, Facebook and others would have to abide by. This is sensible legislation. No one should be haunted for life by what is on the internet. Facebook and Google should not have the right to tell Americans "you can delete your information from the public eye, but you can never delete your information from our websites or our servers".
Frankly, I'm surprised there have not been more lawsuits filed over the antics of many money hungry, unethical American companies who are trolling public databases looking for anything salacious to place online so that one would be desperate enough to pay money to have removed or pay thousands to reputation companies (many which are ripoffs as well as when you contact them they actually create more damaging information to extract more money out of you) to try and bury in Google.
The internet has become the wild, wild west and Americans willingly place sensitive information and private thoughts online to their own detriment. Private companies gladly gather this up.
This is a new type of capitalism. Or maybe it isn't that new and the internet and data mining companies have simply exposed the dark, evil, sordid underbelly of capitalism, where one man's misfortune or embarrassment is another man's financial bonanza.
I have taken certain steps the past few years to limit my exposure online. One of those steps has been to delete my facebook account as well as many other social media accounts. I use one address (no matter how many times I move). I never update my address with the postal service as they sell this information to the credit bureaus and others for a fee several times a year. I use "Aliases" when operating online. Google and others have increasingly shown disdain for this. They want you to use your real name of course and then when you go online they watch every website you go into, every video you click on, every upload you share with others and every comment you make and compile all of this into one central location; arguably making Google into a much broader, much more powerful, Facebook.
I have multiple aliases and multiple email accounts. When I apply for a job, as I stated above, I use one address. They don't really need to know where you live unless of course you're applying for a highly sensitive position with the Government (CIA, FBI, etc.) that requires some sort of security clearance. Well then, that's different. But if you aren't, just give one address on all applications. Because if you don't and you are like me which is you move often, you will have every single address attached to your name online and in your credit file. This is a red flag for employers who like to see a little more stability. They are not going to care if you moved around a lot in your 20's. It's still a red flag.
I have two phones. One number I use on all applications. The other number is strictly for family. I never disclose the number to companies of any kind. I never call a 1-800 number from the number either as major companies have been known to routinely save every number you call from to your account's profile, often without the your consent. This is done primarily to enable the company at a later date (if it should need to) to be able to "Skip Trace" an individual, which means find out the location of a person through inartful means. My main phone is a prepaid phone and its also under an alias and I did not show an ID to get the device and gave a fake name, birthday and address. I pay all of my bills in cash. I was able to do this because the guy I went to advised me I didn't have to give any personal information. So I jumped at it. Not because I'm afraid of anything or doing something wrong. It's only because I love privacy. The more of it the better.
Often in my past, when I have moved from locations, I have filled out a change of address form with the postal service that is only for individuals who have left no forwarding address. All of my mail gets kicked back.
I am personally not a fan of "Mail". I hate getting it. I have gone months without checking a mailbox. So any chance I get to avoid getting "mail" I jump at it. Nothing is so important a phone call or an email can't address. I hate having to wade through mounds of letters which often say the same thing.
At present, I've gone about a year without checking a mailbox at all. And that makes me happy. All of my mail gets returned to sender. If they are important enough, I may call them. If they aren't.. Oh well, their letter gets returned. And right now EVERYONE's letter gets returned as my whereabouts are intentionally UNKNOWN to everyone except FAMILY.
However, back to the topic at hand.. Americans should not be surprised that our emails and phone records are being poured over. We have failed to stand up to privacy violations for many years and companies now have simply taken the liberty to do what they want with our information. I'm not surprised. And neither should you be.
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