Since whistleblower Edward Snowden released unsettling documents regarding NSA spying, Americans have become concerned about privacy… And they should be. The federal government has increasingly taken steps to invade our privacy in the past few decades — they listen to us, watch us, and photograph us on a daily basis.
Here are just a few of the ways that Big Brother is watching:
1. Taking Photos Of Your License Plate
Many towns have installed cameras on the road to crack down on traffic violations. When a photo is taken of a license plate, the photo and ticket are sent to the car owner’s home address.
2. Recording You In Public Places
Dozens of cities have installed surveillance cameras in their public areas to catch and prevent crime. But innocent, law-abiding citizens also get recorded. Most of these people have no idea they are being watched.
3. Tracking Your Location Using Cell Phone Data
Smart phones allow us to do lots of neat things, but they are also Big Brother’s dream come true. The GPS built into your phone allows officials to know your location at all times.
4. Reading Your Emails And Text Messages Sent Abroad
In order to seek out suspicious foreigners, Obama’s NSA reads some “private” emails and texts sent abroad. According to the New York Times, the NSA is “copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border.”
5. Snooping On Your Phone Records
Earlier this summer, it surfaced that the NSA had collected Verizon phone records from millions of unknowing Americans. The Guardian reported that the government agency was doing this “indiscriminately and in bulk — regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.”
6. Watching You From The Sky
FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the government spies on Americans with drones “in a very, very minimal way, very seldom.” Why is this happening at all?! Mueller said he has no idea what happens with the images collected by the drones. Drone spying can show officials exactly where you are, and when.
7. Spying On You… Through Your Fridge
No, this is not a joke. More and more household appliances are connected to the internet, which is convenient for us. But it’s also useful for government officials, who want to watch “suspicious” Americans. CIA director David Petraeus said, “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters.”
8. Listen To You Through Streetlights
Special streetlights on countless American streets allow government officials to monitor citizens. The Daily Mail reported each federally-funded streetlight “contains a speaker system to broadcast emergency alerts, and a video display and is also equipped with proximity sensors capable of recording both pedestrian and road traffic.”