Essays on Technology and Culture

They Really Are Spying On You

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching.

Michelle Catalano – “Pressure Cookers, Backpacks And Quinoa, Oh My!”

While I have a longer piece I’m writing about the problems of digital spying, this essay should give all of us pause. Looking up things on the Internet is not a crime, even bomb making. There will be some people out there who feel that law enforcement were just doing their job, and better to investigate and search an innocent family’s house than miss the terrorist in our midst. I say, why should I have to worry about armed men in black SUVs pulling up to my house when I’m researching kitchen appliances?

Edit: Looks like it wasn’t spying, but a tip-off from her husband’s ex-employer. Still, if innocuous searches on a work computer can get armed men at someone’s door, there’s still something to worry about here.