I Know Who You Are – I Saw What You Did

I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under… I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.

Edward Snowden

 

When you think of surveillance state, what do you think of ?

Student One: North Korea.

How come?

Student Two: Because the government tracks their citizens. They keep a tight control over them. They can’t go anywhere, do anything that the government doesn’t know about.

Anyone else? When you think of surveillance state?

Student Three: East Germany, when it was East Germany.

You ever wonder how Nazi Germany knew where all the Jews were to round them up?

Student Four: I never thought about that.

Student Five: A lot of Jews lived in the same neighborhoods.

Student Six: Their place of worship.

Student Seven: Birth Certificates.

Student Eight: Facial features?

What else? Anyone think of any other Surveillance state?

Student Nine: Syria.

Yes. Anyone think of the US as a surveillance state?

Students Ten, Eleven and Twelve raise their hands.

Okay. Where are US citizens under surveillance at?

Student Thirteen: Airports.

Right. At airports.

Student Fourteen: At the ATM machines. They have video cams there.

Right. They have video cams there. Anywhere else?

Student Fifteen: Anywhere you use your debit card actually. They can track your comings and goiong through your debit card.

Student Sixteen: They can track you through your iPhone.

Right. They can track you through your iPhone.

Student Seventeen: If your laptop has a camera on it, they can track you through that.

Yes. Yes, they can. Anything else? Any other places you are under surveillance?

Student Eighteen: There are video cams everywhere.

Student Nineteen: Drones. Drones can track you.

Student Twenty: Satellite radio. If you have that in your car.

Student Twenty-One: GPS.

Student Twenty-Two: Or your iPhone. They can track your car through your iPhone.

When are you not being tracked?

Student Five: When you go to the bathroom.

Student Eleven: Not if you take your iPhone to the bathroom.

And you all take your iPhones into the bathroom. So how is it you are not living in a Surveillance state?

Student whose number I don’t remember: I don’t care if they spy on me. I’m not doing anything wrong.

But don’t you see that’s what’s wrong with this sort of thinking. This isn’t about what you are doing wrong — it’s about what our government is doing wrong. The very reason our Constitution was written the way it was — to give the power to the people. To keep government from overreaching. What did Snowden say his biggest fear is?

Student: That we won’t do anything about the invasion of our privacy, our rights.

 

 

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • AFRoger

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (I think that’s been said before :)… but not fully appreciated.)
    None of the students mentioned the metadata/megadata of logging every phone connection made, the technology to actually intercept and store and later mine the content of every voice communitcation and digital information transfer 24/7. “Smart” technology enables ads (“if you liked that, you’ll love this”) to come at us from every browse and every purchase. The other side of this coin allows a vast amount of all our activity to be known, stored, and then used for nearly any purpose. If “friends” can gather it, foes surely can too.
    The security state being built by the NSA is all predicated on fear. Fear rationalizes the gathering of all the information above. The unholy begettings of fear are what we have most to fear.
    As a veteran of the Cold War, my service to the nation helped to keep the Cold War from becoming hot, perhaps. A good thing since we had a whole lotta nukes at the ready. But, my fellow Americans, my classified work may have contributed to SECURITY, but it did not make you or keep you FREE. No military force on earth can make us free or keep us free, if in the name of security masquerading as freedom, and in the name of convenience and technology, we allow FREEDOM to dissolve before our eyes.
    Freedom is the responsibility and the daily activity of every citizen of a free society. Our greatest enemy is not terrorism. It is failure to know and to care, simple failure to exercise the very freedoms we have. Or had.

  • John in PDX

    Student whose # you don’t remember.
    I hear that answer a lot. But it’s not the point. Who decides what you are doing is right or wrong? Maybe they decide that taking Karen’s class with thought provoking questions is wrong. Your taxes are scrutinized, you are searched on other pretenses, you are not allowed in school next term or your class selection is limited because you need better training to think they way they want you to think.
    It’ all happens today.


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