Of course the government is spying on me. I'm not outraged only because outrage requires a certain degree of surprise and I've know about government spying for a long time. I hate it. I'm angry about it. Livid really. And I have been since before I was born.
First a little proof that the NSA practices useless voyeurism. Datamining looks at lots of information looking for key words or phrases. The way to defeat it is to communicate in a simple code. If you use the word "baby" instead of "bomb," for example, then the NSA would have to filter through billions of parenthood chatter trying to find a terrorist plot.
Why They Spy
The point of NSA spying is exactly the same as the reason the Stasi spied on East Germans. We millions of common folk are out here doing shit the government doesn't know about and that terrifies small minded career bureaucrats like NSA director James Clapper. They always say they are looking for "enemies of the state," but the fact is they consider every citizen a potential enemy.
Who Runs the NSA
James Clapper has been a Peeping Tom all his life. He worked his way up the ranks in the military spying on people. Not feet on the ground, James Bond type spying, but the high tech equivalent of the creepy neighbor with a telescope spying. Clapper is also a particularly bad spy. He screwed the pooch on Iraq WMD and the Libyan Civil War. He got caught lying to Congress (Lying is expected, getting caught is dumb.). Looking through his career it is impossible to find anything he has done right except getting promotions which suggests he has devoted considerable effort to spying on his bosses like that other American Peeping Tom, J. Edgar Hoover.
The Hoover Legacy
The bureaucratic propensity to spy on Americans was developed and perfected by FBI legend J. Edgar Hoover. Copying techniques from Felix Dzerzhinsky in Soviet Russia and Heinrich Himmler in Nazi Germany, Hoover build dossiers on millions of Americans from presidents, leaders of Congress, and the Supreme Court to everyday Americans, teachers and workers. Nothing has changed since Hoover died, the American government continues to spy on her own citizens with the same intrusiveness.
Isn't Domestic Spying Illegal?
Yeah. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution forbids it. Congress passed laws allowing them anyhow. Congress even created a secret court system to rubber stamp domestic spying. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a misnomer since the targets of thousands of approved wiretaps are Americans living in the United States "suspected" of being foreign agents. But the government doesn't even bother with the charade of a warrant for its massive datamining program. They just do it, cite "national security," and fuck the Constitution.
I've Been Bugged
In the late 1980's I was working for an anti-establishment candidate for the San Diego City Council. My telephone line developed a mysterious noise on it that continued throughout the campaign and stopped suddenly the day after the election. Everybody working on the campaign experienced the same thing. It's possible I've been bugged on other occasions and just never noticed.
Obama and Bush
The program, PRISM, under attack was implemented by President Bush Jr. but enthusiastically continued by President Obama, Obama even appointed a Bushite to oversee the program. Both are equally to blame. Most of the Republicans and Democrats who are currently outraged by the program voted, in secret, for it. Republicans condemning it now approved of it when Bush was the spymaster. Hypocrisy abounds.
What Should We Do?
Domestic spying will continue unabated, it has too many decades of momentum to be stopped now. We should live our lives like East Germans did during the Communist era. Assume our phones are tapped, our emails are being read, our internet search patterns are being studied. Because they are. Never say or write anything is private you wouldn't want the police to read because they probably are.
If you are up to something nefarious use simple precautions. Communicated in code. Use pirated or public Wi-Fi, hack some innocent's computer so it looks like they did your suspicious searches. The NSA is much more interested is peaceful dissidents than in actual terrorists.
UPDATE: James Clapper is director of National Intelligence and not chief of the NSA. That just means Clapper is a higher ranked Peeping Tom. The head of the NSA is Keith Alexander whose resume is even thinner than Clapper's.