reply to post by Sharr
Hey there, Sharr! I'm posting this in response to your original question because some posts have gone off on tangents.
Firstly, it would be silly for us to think that the government, whether it be Canadian, American, British, etc., is not monitoring internet usage and
to some degree, they really need to do this (if we knew of all of the terrorist plots that were foiled because of this, we'd be terrified). Bottom
line is that it's hard for them to sometimes tell who the good and bad folks are and if we don't think they are monitoring usage around the clock,
we're fools. For the most part, as long as what you're looking at is public information and you're not trying to hack into government or other
sensitive secured systems, you're safe and chances of being surveyed are somewhere along the lines of imaginary. If you're doing both - looking
into sensitive info and making calls to the government, the chances are slightly increased. It depends on the subject matter and the agency running
the program you're trying to find out about. Believe it or not, the government is not only interested in what we're reading but what we think and
what ideas are being formed. I liken this to a TV producer who reads the message boards on his/her show's fan sites and then tests some of those
ideas in a sript. They know that there's a huge demographic of untapped natural talent out there so yes, they monitor using special programs that
pick up on certain "buzz words" but again, it's mostly something you'll never know about (as you can see, I'm not a computer guru as "buzz
words" is the best description I can come up with).
With that said, I also think it's foolish to think that the government targets certain websites unless they have a reason to believe there is truly
covert information being exchanged that puts national security at risk. So to say that all ATS members are on "a list" is kind of silly; however,
ATS is part of the huge stratosphere we call the web and is it possible that some of the "buzz words" will get attention on a monitoring system -
sure! Does that mean you'll find a brigade of unmarked vans outside your house - no, not unless they are spooked about where your buzz words lead
So now you're thinking, who is this chick and why should we believe her? I am not a government employee and have never worked for the government or
military but I have several close friends who do/have and they have shown me things (not show me "how" but show me that they "can") that would
blow your mind. I'm going to tell you why I think this was a true incident. It was your comment about "the wave". About a year ago, I was
seriously dating someone who worked for one of the agencies mentioned in this or a linked post (can't say which) and your comment about "the wave"
is what caught my attention. Most of the governmental agencies that are watching you DO NOT HIDE. Quite the contrary, they want you to know that
they are watching you because they're either they're sending you a warning or, believe it or not, they're messing with you for their own kicks. If
they were watching you for info gathering (such as whom you're meeting with, who is coming and going from your house, etc,) you would never know it.
I've heard this man talk about "the wave" and laugh about it with his colleagues on many occassions. They do it on purpose and get a kick out of
seeing people's reactions. I'm not justifying it - I'm merely passing on what I've heard. As for the people who are taking pictures or speeding
off when observed, these are typically PI's or low paid wanna be investigators hired by a variety of industries. Someone had mentioned disability
companies and that is a biggie. Other companies are credit companies, high risk coverage insurance companies, collection agencies, reference agencies
and the such. The list can go on and on.
So what's the bottom line here? The internet is available for all of us to peruse and see. Believe me, not too much of a truly important nature is
available under a typical Google search unless you're a real pro, have obtained info to even find the site from some unnamed deep throat and want to
hack into something you shouldn't be scr@!ing with. Then, simply and bluntly, you're breaking the law and you have only yourself to blame for the
consequences if caught. If you're someone like me who uses the net to gain knowledge on topics I might not have access to under other circumstances
or use it to connect and share ideas with people around the world, then happy surfing and you have nothing to worry about.
And to those posters who will undoubtedly say "why should we believe you and who/what are these agencies", I say pre-emptively, I'm not a troll,
I'm not a plant and don't bother even asking because I won't tell. It has nothing to do with fear of being followed for having exposed secrets or
any mumbo jumbo like that and much more to do with being a trustworthy friend.
Happy and safe surfing all!