So here is your horrifying thought for today: Your own government could very quickly have a video and audio surveillance device put in your house. But that isn't the scariest part. You ready for it? YOU will be the one PAYING to put it there, by your own choice.
Don't believe me? Let's consider some things that have been happening recently:
1. The NSA's massive Utah Data mining center - a 1 million square foot facility, capable of storing yottabytes of data, gleaned from every type of communication device we use. Also consider the fact that every piece of communication passes through a wire at some point, even your cell phone, so literally EVERYTHING is accessible at some junction point. Even if you encrypt your transmission with the highest level of encryption available today, that doesn't matter in the long run. If they can't crack it now, they will store it and crack it when they have the ability to in the near future.
2. PRISM - Since 2007 (but more realistically since the Patriot act was first passed in 2001), the NSA has been using your own internet providers, popular sites, and makers of the worlds most used devices to provide direct access of all their products and services to the government. Since the news broke recently, all the companies on the list of PRISM partners have come out stating, in some form or another, that they are not giving direct or backdoor access to the government, and that they are only responding to court orders as required by law. I call bullshit, for a couple basic reasons:
A. We've already been lied to, and then when they were caught in the lie, they tried to assure us that it wasn't as bad as we are making it out to be, specifically with federal wiretapping. We were all told that it was ONLY calls originating from foreign countries or placed to foreign countries, and that the surveillance was extremely limited in nature. Fast forward to this week, and we find out that was complete bullshit, and that they have been monitoring ALL calls, including ones that are ENTIRELY domestic, for years. Verizon has been handing over data for years already: "While the order itself does not include either the contents of messages or the personal information of the subscriber of any particular cell number, its collection would allow the NSA to build easily a comprehensive picture of who any individual contacted, how and when, and possibly from where, retrospectively." This program has been going on since as far back as October of 2001, in some form or another.
B. All the companies on the PRISM list don't want a mass exodus from their services. Why wouldn't they lie, to retain users? And furthermore, even if they aren't just lying to retain users, it doesn't matter, as they are under a federal gag order from FISA anyway, so even if the wanted to talk about it, the can't!
3. The Ace in the Hole: The Xbox One - A few things on this to get started; To operate, the device must call home once every 24 hours (NOTE: this is to be able to play games. MS has stated that you will not need to connect to watch live TV or DVD's. Who cares, I can already do that without an Xbox). The Kinect MUST be connected for the system to operate. Unless you unplug the entire thing, the Xbox One is always on in a low power state.
So let's put all this nifty information together into one cohesive thought: The NSA is building a massive data retention center using, at least in part, the information it is gathering from it's partners listed in the PRISM project. The very first company to sign on to the PRISM project was Microsoft. The NSA data center will be completed in October, roughly around the same time that the new Xbox One will be hitting stores. Do you honestly believe that if they are already tapping your phone, email, web searches, Facebook, and all your other internet communications, that the NSA won't want to get their greedy little claws where they couldn't go before? Inside your house, directly into your living room? Into the Xbox One and Kinect, that can record a live video and audio stream? Talk about fleshing out the whole picture....
And the best part is, you are going to pay THEM for the privilege.