|Image Credited to EFF|
Recently the NSA opened a massive data center for all the data they plan to collect from the public. It is called the Utah Data Center. It has the capacity to hold 12 exabytes. Exabyte is a term not used very often, but it means 1 billion bytes (wikipedia). A standard computer can hold a few hundred or for a little more money one or two thousand but never before 1 billion. The data center can hold up to 12 billion bytes. The entire Earth uses approximately 11 exabytes in a month. That is saying all that the information in the world can be store in the Utah Data Center. No one knows how many centers like this exist around the globe. This means that the NSA has been collecting data from us and has been storing it in the data centers for who-knows-how-long. Further, how much data do they actually have, and who have they selected to follow? We don’t know.
I found a site which shows how our very clearly, but it is a parody, which means it can and probably has false information about what and who the NSA deals with. Despite its status as a parody it gives you an accurate depiction on what the government actually collect from you. The Domestic Surveillance Directorate (DSD), the name of the website, has used leaked information and some insight to create a list of things the government collects, such as emails, all texts, all online activity, all social media activity, etc. Your data goes to the person or thing you are sending it to, but also the NSA. The NSA sends it through a filtration system that pulls out data that contains anything from a list of “dangerous” words. This data is sent to humans for confirmation about it actually being a threat. If you are linked to the threat in any way, you are immediately put under surveillance. All your friends and family are put under surveillance. All the This is a process that happens every second. It is scary if you think. Somebody could be looking at your data. An article on Forbes suggests that this site is very accurate and though it’s not the actual NSA, it comes very close to the truth. It says most of their information comes from the many leaks in the past years. Besides all that, the site is very funny to read. It takes on the form of the NSA and becomes open.
The NSA claims on its site many things about the organization that I think are not true.
The site starts off by saying that our safety is their number one concern. This might be true, but as a price we have absolutely no privacy (NSA Website). On their website it says, "We will behave honorably and apply good judgment as we would if our activities were under intense public scrutiny." (NSA Core Values) Many people say if you are clean, you shouldn’t care. I, however, disagree. I don’t want anybody taking a look at my personal data. Does the current NSA represent this? It is a question think about. A bigger question is that: Is the government open to us fully. Meaning does the government ever fully tell us what is going on behind the scenes and to our information. The government has a lot of branches that deal with information, but do they actually tell us what they do with that? Do they sell it to ad companies for extra cash? In a memo in 2008 President Obama claimed that in his administration the government would strive to be more open and more collaborative to the general public. This has been evolving, but not as the president thought. The only way we are getting to know the government better is through the leaks not them actually giving us information. That is not the government being open it is citizens being concerned. Through the Snowden, Wikileaks, and Manning leaks we find that the government has many partners and they have been over-collecting and needed to cut off some countries from the data collection. Libya and Greece have been cut from data collection. The government isn’t being any more open in this administration than any other one. Don’t judge Obama because he still has three years to make the government open.
The NSA spies on us. They have been for years now. The difference? We now have the power to stand up and change this. If we all stand up we can achieve change. It is a democratic government and we have power. Just remember- Your data belongs to the NSA… You.
Video from EFF.org. This video is created using the opinions and facts from concerned citizens, actors, celebrities, activists, and legal experts.
Update: November 14, 2013Conclusion
Thank you all for reading and commenting on this blog post. The NSA has been spying on us and we need to tell them to stay in their limits. If we don't they will just keep invading our stuff in new a more creative ways. After reading an responding to comments to the post I believe I have gotten to see the NSA in a different way. The fact that the NSA spy on us is a little disturbing, they really don't use it much against us and they run it through a filtering system, so it doesn't really matter unless the search for us or we put keywords in our data. Only a few creepy people search for people around them, and it is for the safety our country and family. Through the comments I've had to do some research, and I found out that the NSA doesn't say how long they will store our data. Though I think that they store it until their centers get full or they only store the suspicious data. Though your comments I've found some areas that needed clarification and areas that weren't included. I would like to just thank all those people who spent time reading and commenting on this blog. I would like to say that I love the blogging process and that facts can be passed around in an informal way and people can have an online conversation without having to exchange names, just opinions. I like the fact that anyone's opinion can be changed through this process. My opinion on the NSA has become a little and I hope that other opinions were influenced by this post.