posted on Oct, 4 2015 @ 04:14 AM
First I want to apologize in advance if I am posting this in the wrong forum. I had trouble figuring out where else to post this. If I've made a
mistake, my bad and I'm really sorry. Anyway...
I am deeply concerned about my own privacy as of late. I'll start with the catalyst and then provide some additional context.
I live in a college town and although I graduated from the university here a couple years ago now, I still maintain and continue to build
relationships with many students here. We get a lot of international students here, primarily from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and many other
countries in the broader middle east/south asia region. A few weeks ago a friend of mine from Bangladesh who has studied here for the last six years
moved to New York City to continue his studies and live with his brother. He is an electrical engineer, a brilliant guy and a genuinely good, kind
person. Through many in depth and deep conversations, I feel I know this friend quite well and I certainly trust him. Two days after he arrived in New
York City, and about a week before Pope Francis arrived for his American tour on the east coast, my friend was visited by the FBI. They arrived at his
door and wanted to question him. He was questioned for quite some time, seeking to determine whether or not he was a terrorist (Seriously, my friend
is absolutely NOT a terrorist, so I ask that any responders to this thread respect my judgement here and role with my assertion of his complete
innocence). After the FBI left, my friend made a post on Facebook in which he explained briefly that this happened to him. He was clearly upset by it
and I don't blame him. My girlfriend who is also friends with him commented on his post and essentially said, "I'm really sorry this happened to
you." Within an hour or so his post was removed from Facebook. I do not know if he removed the post, but I don't know why he would willingly delete
it. Please note that my friend did not fly to NYC, he drove. He had only been there for two days when the FBI came to his door. The fact that he drove
and the fact that they came to his door so soon after he arrived makes me think he was likely being surveillenced long before he ever left.
Now for the broader context. I am a photographer. I have traveled extensively and continue to travel, capturing and producing primarily fine art
photography and photojournalism wherever I go. I've now been to nearly 40 countries and my portfolio includes Egypt, Turkey, India and Nepal along
with many other places. More recently I have focused in capturing scenes of intense poverty around the world. I want to show those in the "First
World" the stark and disturbing realities that exist in so many other places in an effort to grow awareness. The things I have seen sometimes creep
into my nightmares. Some of the things I have witnessed I know will forever haunt me. Throughout my travels I have made many friends from around the
world. One of my closest friends I met while traveling lives in Pakistan. We chat periodically and I fully intend to visit his home in Pakistan in the
next couple years.
I am also a dual citizen of both the USA and England. I have family living internationally and am often in communication internationally.
Based off of the revelations from Edward Snowden that have exposed the sweeping nature of American surveillance, the recent events of my friend's
encounter with the FBI, as well as my background and global connections in places like Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, etc, I am deeply concerned that
I am being surveillanced. I would really like some feedback on my concerns from the ATS community. Thanks for listening.