The NSA is collecting our data. You know it and I know it. I wrote a pretty in-depth tip on how you can keep your privacy safe from snooping government spooks, but apparently it's a whole lot simpler than anybody knew! The former chief of the NSA General Keith Alexander has an easy method that he uses, and he wants you to know it too.
In a speech at MIRCon 2014 - a information security conference in Washington D.C. - Alexander delivered some handy advice for anyone looking to stay out of the NSA's ever-watchful gaze: just don't talk to Al Qaeda. It's that simple!
You have to read the full quote. It's equal parts brazen, shameless, frightening and useless. Here's how he was quoted in The Register:
"Our data's in there (NSA databases), my data's in there. If I talk to an Al Qaeda operative, the chances of my data being looked at is really good, so I try not to do that. If you don't want to you shouldn't either," he told MIRcon delegates.
There you have it! It's so obvious, why didn't I think of it?
Silly me! I always thought the Constitution was supposed to protect me from my own government's prying eyes. But according to General Alexander, the onus is on me to simply not talk to the wrong people. After all, it's so easy for me to know who does and doesn't belong to Al Qaeda on the Internet.
Alexander went on about the agency's domestic spying, bugging of foreign allied leaders and drone use. He said it was just the agency doing its job. He was quoted as saying, "somebody has to be in charge."
All jokes and sarcasm aside, General Alexander's comments flippantly dismiss our very real concerns about government overreach. There are still a lot of us in this country who believe that We the People are "in charge," not Washington spooks. Not only that, but government spying could have dramatic real-world consequences.
Benjamin Franklin famously wrote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." He was talking about taxes being raised for defense against French and Indian attacks, but the sentiment stands true today.
What do you think about General Alexander's remarks? Is it good advice or a condescending platitude? Let me know in the comments section below.