One huge issue among United States citizens today is government surveillance of everyday people.
Recently, there are been too many instances where both local and federal authorities have been caught spying on innocent individuals without any cause – much less a search warrant.
In most cases, the claim for doing this was ‘national security’ when their real objective was blatantly obvious – to gain power – usually against a political opponent.
This is a growing problem. It is no longer as simple as spotting an FBI surveillance van on your street – or any other signs of police surveillance – surveillance methods are becoming more sophisticated. For instance, invasive backstreet surveillance technologies are appearing in small towns all across the US.
Let us examine five reasons not to expect government surveillance to end in the future.
There are no mechanisms in place to stop them
Government surveillance is like a runaway freight train – no one is going to stop its momentum.
Sadly, most people are keenly aware of this fact – they have chosen to sweep it under their mental rug. Many of us make that old familiar promise to ourselves to ‘deal with it later.’
The first reason it can’t be stopped is that it’s a subset of technology. And as we all know, technology is advancing quicker than anything ever has in all of history. So, everyday people are not keeping up with its progress. Since knowledge is power – ignorance is the opposite of that.
The second reason it can’t be stopped is that big tech is too financially powerful. If there’s something that we Americans should’ve figured out long before now is that the wealthy get what the wealthy want. And this is simply because everyone else wants what the wealthy has.
Finally, experts keep telling us that when quantum computers finally get here, there will be no security system powerful enough to protect our personal data and privacy.
The real danger here is that your personal information gets distributed all over the Internet for hackers to capture and use against you.
This means that FBI surveillance, NSA surveillance, and local police surveillance against us are not going to stop. It will only increase in the future.
The proliferation of new sensor platforms
Every single day, we see new and more innovative methods of collecting data and information. New data streams are opening up in imaginative ways. These come from places like drones, license plate readers, biometric identification systems, and citywide TV camera systems — to name a few.
The latest surveillance technique that comes out today will use sensors that are far different today than just a few years ago. Vast amounts of digital data are collected at breakneck speeds. Also, the data not only comes fast, but it is also high-quality data as well.
Let’s not forget how innovation begets more innovation. As data gathering increases, scientists learn more about the data gathering process and continually increase its efficiency.
Unfortunately, newer and more effective data collection sensors will lead to more surveillance.
The increased power of data analytics
Modern algorithms today are becoming more and more skilled at finding patterns in massive volumes of data. They generate results from trillions of data points in their analysis.
Big Data is becoming more prevalent in our society. An example of this is that many universities are offering Big Data (and subsets of it) as a field of study.
This new field teaches methods of analyzing and managing the exponential growth of data that the world is creating. Thanks to highly advanced analytical methods driven by AI techniques, researchers can make sense of what the data is telling us.
The anticipated arrival of quantum computers — which are unimaginably fast computers that will take computing to insanely new levels — is expected to revolutionize the ability to analyze data. While quantum computers are still restricted to labs, they are expected to appear within the next decade.
These powerful new methods of analyzing data will most certainly be applied to surveillance data as well.
The decreasing costs of data storage
Since computing became more accessible, so did the notion that we digitize all things and store them permanently one day. It would gradually create a paperless world.
Many of us have noticed how the cost of data storage has dropped dramatically in a few years. We only need to price out a few hard drives or even the prices of high-capacity external drives. But we have also noticed how the demand for more memory has increased. It used to be that one gigabyte seemed like more than we would ever need.
This significant reduction in data storage costs applies to everyone who stores data — including the big tech sources that manage data for millions of clients. As these costs drop, they find more clients, and some of these clients have sensitive data to store.
The only logical conclusion is that as data storage costs decrease, the overall cost of surveillance will decrease as well — leading to more surveillance.
Technology is more powerful than the law
The cold hard fact is that technology evolves so quickly that law oversight and its governing policies cannot keep up. This means we are left to deal with new surveillance techniques that are ungoverned and operating in a lawless domain.
Lawmakers are either too lazy or not motivated to hold today’s tech giants accountable. One of their problems — and it is not a new one — is how they continue trying to apply old laws and interpretations that are dated to relatively new technologies.
This is why the law never catches up with technology. Each of them moves at wildly different speeds. A new law takes roughly 18 to 24 months to get passed, while technology changes every few weeks.
As long as lawmakers continue embracing old ideas, technology will surveil our lives even more in the future.
Surveillance signs that might indicate you are being watched
Sometimes it’s too easy to let your mind wander and believe you are being watched.
While this may be true, so is the fact that with all the new methods of surveillance available, it’s too easy to spy on someone these days. Furthermore, most people are too busy to notice – and this puts everyday people at a disadvantage.
However, the one edge that we have in finding signs of police surveillance or even FBI surveillance is that it only takes a little effort, know-how, and awareness to find them. And we can do this without buying any fancy anti-surveillance equipment.
Seeing the same person repeatedly
One strong sign that you are under sort kind of surveillance is when you see someone repeatedly in different environments – especially when those locations aren’t in the same neighborhood.
A person that has no business being somewhere has the burden of acting covertly. This means that you can confirm your suspicions with the following indicators:
- They move whenever you move.
- They communicate with someone (cell phone, etc.) when you move.
- They won’t make eye contact with you.
- They make abrupt turns or stops.
Keep in mind, these are just a few indicators of a surveillance agent – there are thousands of them. But the commonality among them is that they don’t measure up to being typical behavior.
Physical signs of surveillance
While surveillance technology advances by leaps and bounds, some of the same old surveillance methods and techniques still apply. Here are some of those common surveillance signs.
Electrical fixture wall plates seem out of place
The signs of disturbance among these fixtures will be subtle as they attempt to cover their track. A typical location to insert electronic surveillance devices is via electoral outlets, light switches, receptacles, and even smoke alarms.
In most cases, they’ll install listening devices in these places to eavesdrop on your conversations.
Your baseboards seem out of place
This is especially true if you have vinyl baseboards. But what you are specifically looking at is the relationship between these baseboards and the walls behind them. If the gaps at the bottom or the top of these baseboards have changed, you’ll have to investigate.
These areas are where spies like to run wiring to power up their surveillance data transmissions. Any tiny microphone or video surveillance device they install usually needs wiring – especially for long-term surveillance.
Discoloration on walls or ceilings
A discoloration spot is another sign of being spied upon. These agents take great care to make these spots very small – no bigger than a coin. The teeniest hole in your ceiling can easily hide a video camera or microphone.
A familiar item doesn’t seem normal
Eavesdroppers like to hide their digital surveillance devices out in the open in the most unsuspecting places. They know we’ve become almost blind to what we see every day, so they try to capitalize on this fact.
Thus, we should be aware that any sudden changes to everyday items in our physical space could be another sign of surveillance. Be mindful that when a person installs surveillance equipment, they are typically nervous and in a hurry. This means it probably won’t be left the way it was found.
White debris close to a wall
Anytime work is done around walls, there will be some debris that falls to the floor. This is especially true when drills are used – which spies often use – there’s always a debris pile left over.
The question is whether or not the spy cleans it up, and if they do, how well was it cleaned.
Either way, the debris pile is a clear sign that something was done on the wall. We need to find out what.
Door locks suddenly become easily stuck or don’t work right
Whenever a door begins misbehaving right out of the blue, it’s a sign that someone has tampered with it somehow. Locks get picked, and hinges get manipulated so that surveillance gear can get installed inside your home.
A new item appears in your home
This is one of the most evident signs that you are being watched. Spies count on people being naturally absent-minded, and because of this, they will place a small, forgettable object somewhere in your home that contains a form of surveillance.
Daily surveillance of our lives is going to continue. There is nothing out there that will change this inevitability.
Please don’t count on the government to act, as they aren’t able to protect themselves. All we need do is look back at the number of times hackers have compromised them.
If we want our personal information to remain private, then we must be proactive and remain vigilant.