Ever use Google?
You have any digital footprint like email, they already know what you look at online, what you comment on, where you post from, etc.
So even with programs like wireshark (assuming it doesn't have a ghost program that actually monitors what you do, because who needs to hide secrets except people with secrets?), and the like, they (companies like Google and Yahoo!) still have profiles on you.
All of us.
Just posting here they can figure out what educational level you have, your ethnicity, sexual persuasion, yadda yadda.
All so that they can figure out how to sell you better dandruff shampoo.
I'm not worried. They can monitor me all they want, go through my emails, categorize me.
We think that these conspiracies are so scary, but isn't it comforting to know that there is an entire machine dedicated to preserving our way of life? That there is a concerted effort to keep the status quo? I mean, I see no evidence of it, but its a nice idea, like religion. Conspiracies and religion are comforting. It makes us think we know whats going on.
I'm less worried about elected officials than I am about independent companies spying on me.
We thought we should be worried about Big Brother being the government, but we should be more worried about what Apple and Google are doing with the information. They have more money, access to more information, and better equipment than the feds. Heck, the Mafia has better snooping eq. than the feds.
Also, Google is working towards The Singularity, the point where we essentially become a version of the Borg, and then according to Kurzweil (the author of this religio...philosophy), we'll become God.
Worse here in our time, it's your neighbors that are the real issue. Seems like people are taking lessons from WW2 Germany, and having citizens go straight to police instead of talking directly to their neighbors.
Who needs fancy eavesdropping tech when your nosy neighbor will do it at no cost federally at all?
The problem will never be the government. It will always be The People. People spy on other people. People are elected by other people. And the voting populace outnumbers the elected. So when something happens and you do nothing, crying for the government to solve all the problems, go look in a mirror and point fingers.
And for those who don't think this is happening, go to Yahoo! news and plop this little gem in:
"Samsung has warned people against discussing sensitive and private information in the vicinity of its new smart televisions - because it will be translated into text and stored in a central computer."
"Unsubsrcibe me from Groupon, Hal."
"I can't do that, Dave. I noticed you have flakes on your shoulders. Do you need Head and Shoulders added to your cart?"
"Damnit! No. I don't need any more shampoo."
"I don't think Laura will accept another date from you if it's snowing, Dave. Should I tell her you have dandruff, along with your browser history?"
"...Buy the damn shampoo, Hal.