Constitution.com posted an article entitled, “‘Unconstitutional’: Yahoo secretly scanned all incoming emails for US intelligence”.
According to that article:
“Reuters just reported that the Internet/email company Yahoo Inc. created a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails to comply with a ‘classified government directive.’
“[Yahoo!] complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.”
A lot of people, myself included, are infuriated by Yahoo!’s betrayal of American privacy. A lot of former Yahoo! email customers are changing to other email providers that offer “end-to-end encryption” and other technological devices that guarantee government can’t read their emails.
I’m not joining them. I’ve had the same Yahoo! email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) for most of 13 years and I don’t plan to change anytime soon. After all, I really don’t have anything to hide (except the detonators, of course), so I’m not enraged by Yahoo!’s spying–in fact, I like it.
I know that no one (including me) should justify government/Yahoo! spying with the argument that “I have nothing to hide”. It’s wrong for Yahoo! to spy on you and me. It’s worse for government to spy on you and me. I know that. The whole idea is contrary to living in the “Land of the Free”.
But I also know that there’s virtually nothing I can do about it. Sure, I could quit Yahoo! and move to another email provider that promises (cross their heart and hope to die) that they will never, never give any of my info to the U.S. government without my knowledge and permission. But why would I believe such promises? So far as I’m concerned there is no privacy and no secrecy in the internet age. Helk, somebody could be watching me right now with my own webcam as I write this blog entry.
But, the way I look at it is if government gives me lemons, why not whip up some lemonade? I don’t now how long Yahoo!, the NSA and FBI have been spying on my (and your, and everyone else’s) email accounts. But there’s a good chance that they’ve been spying for at least 5 years and maybe 10.
What’s that mean?
It means that I (and you and everyone else who uses Yahoo!) has been under government surveillance for up to 10 years without having written anything sufficiently dangerous, seditious, treasonous or terroristic to cause government to react by sending out storm troopers to kick in my (your) doors and kill us or at least ship us off to Guantanamo (or some similar facility) to protect “national [government] security”.
That means that, thanks to Yahoo!, NSA, and the FBI, the government has evidence that I (you) have a ten-year track record of being on my (your) good behavior and not threatening to kill, mutilate, dismember, or cannibalize any of our fellow Americans or, especially, our beloved, honorable and highly patriotic “fearless leaders”.
Because of its widespread spying, the government has that evidence. That evidence might be of an exculpatory nature.
It’s remotely possible that if I were sued or prosecuted by government, I might be entitled to not only receive copies of all those exculpatory emails that support the contention that I might be a “good guy”. More, I might even be entitled to read each and every one of the email I sent and received over the past 10 years into the record and to a jury charged with deciding if I was really a “bad guy”.
Lessee–I’m guessing that I send about 2,000 email per year and I receive about 60,000. How long do you suppose it would take to read 60-some thousand email to a jury? I know the idea is improbable, but it still makes me laugh.
Plus, virtually every one of my outgoing email includes my “Creed” which currently declares,
“At all times and places, I have been, am and will be as our Father YHWH ha Elohiym made me: An actual, physical man made in God’s image and endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights. I am currently one of the People of The State of Texas and one of the People of The United States of America. I am a beneficiary of “federalism” as declared by The Supreme Court of the United States in Bond v US case no. 09-1227. Unless otherwise expressly and voluntarily agreed by me in writing over my actual hand-written signature: I exercise my actual rights of religious and political freedom of choice to declare that the venue of all of my conduct, speech, writings, agreements, residence and domicile is: without the singular “United States” and actually on the soil within the physical boundaries of The County of Dallas located within the border of The State of Texas–one of the several member-States of the perpetual Union styled “The United States of America”; that all of my conduct is intentional; that all of my acts and intentions take place in a Year of our Lord; that I act at arm’s length and without prejudice to my capacity as a sovereign Dei gratia; that my duty of obedience is only to that government that exists under the authority granted by our Father YHWH ha Elohiym as per Romans 13:1-7 and is consistent with the express charitable trust called “The Constitution of The State of Texas” and “The Organic Law of The United States of America”; that I have not knowingly, intentionally and voluntarily consented to be subject by virtue of mere statute, rule, regulation, emergency, or alleged moral obligation to the authority of any unincorporated, implied charitable trust; that I deny that I am acting in the territorial jurisdiction of “this state” as defined at Texas Penal Code 1.04(d); that I deny representing any collective entity unless I have expressly agreed under oath to do so; that my purposes are at all times religious first and/or political second and dedicated to restoring understanding and respect for the spiritual principles which provide the foundation for the republican form of government guaranteed at Article 4 Section 4 of The Constitution of the United States ratified in A.D. 1788 and by Article 1 Section 2 of The Constitution of The State of Texas. I do not consent to be cast in a false light.”
Thus, if we assume that government has been spying on Yahoo! email customers for five years, and I sent 2,000 email per year, the government has received about 10,000 notices of my “Creed”. That’s evidence. And while government could argue that they missed one or two of my notices of Creed, government can’t argue argue that its spies missed 10,000 such notices over a period of five years (or however many years they’ve been spying on you and me through Yahoo!).
Thanks to: 1) the thousands of emails I’ve sent bearing my Creed; and 2) Yahoo!’s spying on me on behalf of the NSA and FBI, the government knows or has reason to know who I am, what I am and where I conduct my affairs, and what rights I’m claiming and entitled to.
I want government to recognize my Creed because, if push comes to shove, I believe notice of my Creed could help defend me against a potential court case filed by government. I want government to have reason to know my Creed because I believe it will at least challenge and perhaps defeat some of the presumptions of identification, occupation and plane of jurisdiction that I suspect government routinely uses as foundation for its assaults on the American people.
I don’t like the idea of Yahoo! spying on Americans. Still, I have to admit that I’m pretty much pleased that it’s done so since, by spying on me, Yahoo! has not only given government evidence of who I claim to be, etc. but helped me to create evidence that the government can’t easily refute or deny.
They are spying on us to collect evidence against us.
Why not use the spies’ technology to create evidence that’s foe us?