Like the flowers before the spring? Or the Resistance during the big war? Or, maybe, the trains that rumble underneath most major cities.

drone spy

These days, it often means “hidden” as it “off the grid.” Not discoverable in the usual ways. Without an electronic footprint in the virtual universe. And good luck to you in achieving it. Got a Facebook account? Twitter? Snapchat? Do you blog or comment on others’ blogs? Do you use email? How about a credit card?

I’m not sure I was ever underground. I certainly never went to any lengths to keep my life a secret or hide whatever I was doing. As soon as there was an Internet, I was on it. The price of admission to the virtual world, the online society is personal privacy. Not every single bit of your privacy.


To the best of my knowledge, what we do and say in the privacy of our homes and cars remains there, barring some blabbermouth posting it somewhere. Otherwise, the minute you sign on up for your first social media account, you are in the net, on the grid, part of the web, and fair game for every organization who’d like a piece of you.

Is it annoying? Yes. Is it inevitable? Definitely.

You can rant, rail, whine, and moan about how the government is watching you and you would probably be correct. They are. They will. They always have done, only now, they can find you much more easily. Computers and cell phones have made spying on citizens a whole lot simpler.

And, of course, advertisers are targeting you. Scammers will find you.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth notwithstanding — what did you think was going to happen when you put your life online and made it public?



  1. You have to go into this thing with open eyes. I am so tired of people that refuse to do this and that because everyone knows all your secrets. Are we really that important? We might be. All I know is that I carry on living my life, taking photos, writing blogs and I like it. It is all a matter of common sense what and where you make your remarks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. We are so NOT suspicious and we are so NOT threatening to anyone, why would they bother us? We are of absolutely no value to the security people. So that’s exactly how I operate too. I go about my business and assume others will go about theirs and leave me in peace. Of course people can find me. But they could always find me, if they wanted to. If you own a house, have a telephone, pay taxes? They — whoever ‘they’ are — can find you. Anyone who believe otherwise is living in la-la-land.


    1. The thing is, they don’t really “listen.” They just troll for key words that alert the system of “something to check.” Most of the stuff is literally just noise to them. They collect gazillions of bytes of data … but they don’t have gazillions of people to interpret it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when company email was an amazement; a rare and wondrous thing. Early on my rule of thumb was only sent it, only post it if you are willing for the entire world to see it. Nothing remains hidden on the net.


    1. I agree. I knew, from the beginning, that 1) no privacy in the office — ever, and 2) the internet is PUBLIC. Anything you say there is available to anyone and everyone. It’s oddly, the kids who seem to not get this. They use social media as a private communications network and are shocked when someone else — like MOM or DAD — sees it.


    1. And there’s also the reality that considering most of what we say is pretty benign, you can be pretty sure that the spies are not looking for us. They really don’t care. That we are monitored is probably a given, but whether or not anyone actually LISTENS to the stuff they record is a very different question.

      On the other foot, if you publish it, then you get what you pay for.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure being in your car insures privacy anymore? I bought a new vehicle recently, and in the name of safety, a good thing, many cars have systems that will take over your mobile phone. This is great so you can have a “hands-off” phone experience while driving. BUT! is “Big Brother” still listening after you’ve terminated a call?


  4. No, I have to call bullshit. Just Gus the Feds can listen to everything doesn’t mean they should. They can stand in every public classroom, bookstore and skatepark, transcribing out conversations, habits, and interests by hand, but we wouldn’t appreciate it. The internet is no different than a skate park – it’s just digital instead of physical; but it’s just a place where we can talk, share, meet, buy and sell, create, learn. We need to kick out the Feds and the corporations who gobble up everything about us


    1. We have no power to control the Internet. Really, NO ONE controls the Internet and that’s the whole point. Governments will always spy on their citizens. They always have, as long as there have been governments, as far back as history goes. The whole “we can just kick them out” thing really IS bullshit. How would you like to do that? And enforce it? You could pass a dozen laws and you could never enforce any of them. Governments do what governments do, here and everywhere. Don’t share stuff on the Internet if you don’t want everyone in the world to know about it. Privacy is what private conversation is for.


      1. There’s a ton of information about how mass surveillance, including the monitoring of digital communications, causes a Chilling Effect on speech, information, and journalism. Going back to the ’60’s, a Federal judge ruled that the NAACP could not be forced to turn over its membership list to government officials because it would cause a chilling effect: “privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association”. NAACP v. Patterson. PEN America did a report that found, because of digital surveillance, 1/3 of writers/journalists were shying away from sensitive topics – chilling effects. We could update the 4th Amendment to include digital communications, barring government or ISP’s from browsing said communications, much the way Fed Ex and the USPS can’t browse the contents of our mail.


        1. I have no argument with you, but I ask again: exactly how do you propose to fix the problem? No one in world history has EVER made a government stop spying on its citizens. Never. Not in ancient Egypt or Rome. Not in medieval Europe. Not anywhere, ever. That IS what governments do.


          1. We update the fourth amendment. Our gov didn’t start off reading our diaries and saving copies of letters. We need the fourth amendment to protect against the search and seizure (or storage) of our digital data.


            1. Yes and we are more or less safe from unreasonable search and seizure, but no matter WHAT the government people say and promise, they are not going to stop spying on us. That’s how governments define security. They can (and do) justify it as “national security” — which I’m sure you already realize is a great way to bypass the constitution. I’m not arguing that having them in our business is a bummer and probably illegal on the face of it. I’m saying that we are not going to stop it. Even if they promise to stop it, they won’t stop it. Not ever. No matter who is president. No matter who is secretary of state. No matter which party is in power. They will NOT stop. They will get more secretive and better at hiding what they do, but they will NOT stop.


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