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:


“The Government That Is Attacking Me Is Also Reforming Because of Me”

Scott Shackford

Edward Snowden’s one year visa in Russia expires at the end of next month. With only a few weeks left before he finds himself without a safe country to live in, he sat down to give an exclusive interview. Here are the most important things he wants you to remember from his recent sacrifice.

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

Not Yours To Give

David Crockett

One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. Then Col. David Crockett arose, and spoke on the both nobility of charity and why it has absolutely no place within the government. Read on...


How the American Dream Can Make You 14-Times Your Money

Chris Mayer

Most U.S. citizens subscribe to an idea called the American dream - working hard on a level playing field so you can "get ahead" in life. But that's not what the original "American dream" was all about. As Chris Mayer explains, that term originally referred to a completely different, yet equally important goal. Read on...


The Idea of America

Bill Bonner

America is a country like no other. Comprised of people from all corners of the globe, America exists solely because people chose to become Americans. But what does that mean? And how does it influence the concepts of liberty and freedom Americans feel so entitled to? Bill Bonner explains...


The Rights Trap: Constricted By a Sense of Entitlement

Harry Browne

People tend to believe they are endowed with a few specific "rights" - property, liberty, happiness, etc. Unfortunately, as Harry Browne explains, rights only exist in theory. In practice they don’t accomplish much - no matter how much people may discuss them. Read on...


Tricked on the Fourth of July

Gary North

British North America was likely the freest society ever seen on earth, as long as you were not a slave of African descent. The Fourth of July isn't worth celebrating unless one wants to cheer an unnecessary revolution that ushered in more tyranny and taxation than existed before that revolution's "success".


Demographic Dilemma

Genevieve Lefranc

Our economy, consumer society, and retirement programs are all in jeopardy in the face of a looming demographic dilemma. Read on to learn about the dire situation with pensions and social security, and what you can do to protect yourself...