Given what’s been in the news this weekend about security surveillance of Internet and cell phone traffic, this production from the American Civil Liberties Union really strikes home. I always knew that traffic through hosts like Hotmail, Google and Yahoo, with servers in the US, were subject to examination under Homeland Security rules.

Those tentacles extend into every corner of our lives, it seems. It’s frustrating to feel unsafe at your own keyboard, especially when you’re a writer researching material for your novels. I’ve looked up lots of information on inventory and mortgage frauds, how to commit fraud, court cases, media reports, etc. And what about all of the personal-stuff data entry and searches – online purchases, health questions, banking information, etc.?

I know there are lots of people who’ll say, “I’ve got nothing to hide, I don’t care’, but we all know of situations where something initially thought to be benign, gets re-purposed to a more sinister or dangerous use. While the hubbub is about privacy breaches in the US, remember that we in Canada are considered ‘foreign’, so it’s likely we’ve already been subjected to increased scrutiny without our knowledge. Certainly sometimes when you cross through a US Border Service checkpoint, we are all treated as if we’re suspected of something nefarious. Our rights and freedoms are being increasingly constrained on so many fronts – we have to start pushing back and stop ‘sharing’ so much of our lives online.

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