Jason Farrell

More NSA revelations from The Guardian emerged today.

The NSA has a program called XKeyscore that enables them to view and track nearly everything you do online.

“One document,” writes Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald “a top-secret 2010 [analyst training] guide… explains that analysts can begin surveillance on anyone by clicking a few simple pull-down menus designed to provide both legal and targeting justifications. Once options on the pull-down menus are selected, their target is marked for electronic surveillance and the analyst is able to review the content of their communications.”

In other words, they might be watching you. Right now. Without a warrant.

“The days of the Internet as a truly global network are numbered,” The Guardian’s John Naughton lamented. Without freedom of information and privacy, the Web is being chopped up into state-based security fiefdoms. Governments are now feuding with the U.S. over control of the World Wide Web.

“No U.S.-based Internet company can be trusted to protect our privacy or data,” Naughton warns. “Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their ‘cloud’ services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance… by the NSA. That means that if you’re thinking of outsourcing your troublesome IT operations to, say, Google or Microsoft, then think again.”

Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, agrees: “Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?” The German interior minister warned Germans to avoid using U.S.-based services.

On the bright side, the market is already providing some safer alternatives. SpiderOak, a secure cloud storage company, has seen its rate of sign-ups nearly triple over the past month. SpiderOak says even its engineers are unable to decrypt your personal data, so it is stored safely, according to CSO Online. Many of these are startups or crowdfunded experiments and may be worth keeping an eye on. Apple is expected to announce improvements to its iCloud service soon. How larger companies deal with this may affect markets in interesting ways.

“No one person can possibly comprehend the extent,” Jeffrey Tucker of the Laissez Faire Club wrote here yesterday, “the structure or direction of this order that is emerging in our time.”

Jason Farrell

For The Daily Reckoning

P.S. The Internet is an ongoing experiment in anarchy. Keeping your own information safe will be crucial as the battle over privacy rages. For good ideas on doing so, please visit our NSA report page here.

You May Also Like:


We’re All Edward Snowden Now

Jeffrey Tucker

The curtain is falling fast on free speech. It’s happening all around us, and it is getting worse every day.

Jason Farrell

Jason M. Farrell is a writer based in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. Before joining Agora Financial in 2012 he was a research fellow at the Center for Competitive Politics, where his work was cited by the New York Post, Albany Times Union and the New York State Senate. He has been published at United Liberty, The Federalist, The Daily Caller and LewRockwell.com among many other blogs and news sites.

Recent Articles

A Quarter-Century’s Conclusion on Our Cancer Woes

Ray Blanco

Breakthrough technologies can hold the most undiscovered money-making potential. What we’ve accomplished in a quarter century with cancer research could make you serious money and save countless lives. Ray Blanco has more on this ground breaking story...


Give Your Book Away For Free, Make More Money

Chris Campbell

The publishing industry is on its head. These days, it makes more sense to make money before you write your book and give it away for free once you do. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris Campbell shows you how to create a hit with those two counterintuitive steps. Read on…


How to Poke the Russian Bear in 3 Easy Steps

Greg Guenthner

Interested in buying the dip in Russian stocks this morning? Before you do, let’s try to knock some sense into that skull of yours. Late last week, I reminded you why we bid farewell to the big Russian bear back over the summer. At the time, Russia was one of the cheapest markets in the world. But cheap can always get even cheaper—and Russia is certainly no exception. With comic book supervillain Vlad Putin manning the controls from his secret Siberian lair, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX) has dropped a cold 20% since registering its late June highs. Does it have a shot at rebounding? Greg Guenthner explains…


Why Malpractice from the Fed Will Undermine Growth

Steve Forbes

The latest friend of ours to weigh in on the topic of the value of your money is Steve Forbes. As you’ve been reading this week, we paid a visit to Mr. Forbes recently, to discuss his latest book, Money. In this essay, you’ll find his thoughts on currency devaluation… it’s impact of economic growth and your investments…