Mira Karouta

Over the last 10 years, Social Networking has grown very rapidly and phenomenally. It seems that if you tell someone you’re not on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you’re pretty much considered a social outcast. The idea of stalking someone online and not finding any trace of their identity seems foreign and irritating to most people. However, no matter how well kept and hidden you think you are, there is still someone watching your every move online. Smile, pucker up, and say hello to your new psycho stalker girlfriend, the NSA.

 

Who’s Stalking You?

The National Stalker Security Alliance (NSA) is a secretive, US intelligence organization with a mass surveillance operation in the United States that essentially aims to protect the citizens of good ol’ America by monitoring both telephone and online communications, mainly raising red flags when key threat words are mentioned. All of these communications are stored, backed up and saved into terabytes upon terabytes in a larger-than-an-IKEA building out in Alaska. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Mira, this is cool and all, but we’re all the way out in Jordan. How does this affect us at all?” Well, let me tell you how it affects you in one simple sentence – If you’ve been in the States and/or made contact with any citizen from the United States, then you’re already a happily registered member of the NSAs database.

 

The Beginnings

The main reason we now know how the NSA really functions now is because of computer specialist Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor who is currently a whistleblower. For the past 10 months, he’s been leaking classified NSA documents. His first major leak was on June 3rd, 2013, in which he exposed PRISM, a surveillance program launched in 2007 to have direct access to internet communications from Apple, Google and Microsoft. According to these documents, these companies, along with others, have worked closely with the NSA to help them bypass encryption and other privacy controls, and in return the agency pays for many of these companies’ compliance costs; all without the consent or awareness of the public.

 

Caught Red-Handed

It’s pretty scary if you think about it hard enough. Snowden explains that they can pretty much formulate your entire life and frame you for something you haven’t done if they wanted to. Think about it once more and for a second imagine that Google search engine was the NSA all along. And you? You were typing in all kinds of keywords, phrases, embarrassing questions and symptoms that you wouldn’t ask your own mother about. It’s all stored.

The Actual Nightmare

Are you paranoid yet? Frankly, we’re only scratching the surface. It seems obvious, but this proves that there’s a lot more that we don’t know about. Recent studies and surveys by IT professionals show they are more concerned with hackers penetrating the NSAs security system and gaining access to endless sensitive documents at their fingertips. Basically, the only thing worse than a “protective stalker” is the protective stalker’s stalker that’s likely to be able to scavenge anything and everything they’ve ever wanted to know about something and weaponize it.

As lighthearted as I have been with this article, I actually encourage you to research the subject and perhaps become part of the conversation of what it might mean for the future of online and phone communication.