Tweet if you support Terrorism!

October 26, 2008

I was surfing Digg just now and I found this article about the US army has now designated Twitter a potential terrorist tool.  The whole thing reads like a bad joke, but there’s one part that really threw me, even more than the conclusion that Twitter (and GPS maps and voice modulators) are potential threats to US security.

That would be this part:

“Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences,” the report said. (emphasis added)

The fact that vegetarians, along with atheists and political enthusiasts, are singled out here is positively alarming.  Are these seriously considered terrorist groups, and if so are they being monitored by the US government?  If they are seriously considered terrorist groups, then the answer is probably yes.  So are they?  We don’t know who exactly is being monitored by the government, but from what we do know, it seems quite likely that anyone is at risk.

Undoubtedly, we saw evidence that activist groups had been spied upon during and before the RNC earlier this year, and when we consider this along with the unfolding scandal of NSA employees listening in on phone calls made by human rights groups and US soldiers abroad, it seems quite likely that people, US citizens, are being monitored if they are associated with any of these labels.  Vegetarians, beware?

The discussion I would like to have is about what we as average citizens can do to encrypt, hide, protect our data and communications.  What steps can one easily (or just cheaply) take to protect him or herself from surveillance?

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