8 Crazy Ways The Government Watches Us

By: Kristin Tate
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Since whistleblower Edward Snowden released unsettling documents regarding NSA spying, Americans have become concerned about privacy… And they should be. The federal government has increasingly taken steps to invade our privacy in the past few decades — they listen to us, watch us, and photograph us on a daily basis.

Here are just a few of the ways that Big Brother is watching:

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1. Taking Photos Of Your License Plate 

Many towns have installed cameras on the road to crack down on traffic violations. When a photo is taken of a license plate, the photo and ticket are sent to the car owner’s home address.

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2. Recording You In Public Places

Dozens of cities have installed surveillance cameras in their public areas to catch and prevent crime. But innocent, law-abiding citizens also get recorded. Most of these people have no idea they are being watched.

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3. Tracking Your Location Using Cell Phone Data

Smart phones allow us to do lots of neat things, but they are also Big Brother’s dream come true. The GPS built into your phone allows officials to know your location at all times.

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4. Reading Your Emails And Text Messages Sent Abroad 

In order to seek out suspicious foreigners, Obama’s NSA reads some “private” emails and texts sent abroad. According to the New York Times, the NSA is “copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border.”


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5. Snooping On Your Phone Records

Earlier this summer, it surfaced that the NSA had collected Verizon phone records from millions of unknowing Americans. The Guardian reported that the government agency was doing this “indiscriminately and in bulk — regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.”

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6. Watching You From The Sky

FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the government spies on Americans with drones “in a very, very minimal way, very seldom.” Why is this happening at all?! Mueller said he has no idea what happens with the images collected by the drones. Drone spying can show officials exactly where you are, and when.

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7. Spying On You… Through Your Fridge

No, this is not a joke. More and more household appliances are connected to the internet, which is convenient for us. But it’s also useful for government officials, who want to watch “suspicious” Americans. CIA director David Petraeus said, “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters.”

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8. Listen To You Through Streetlights

Special streetlights on countless American streets allow government officials to monitor citizens. The Daily Mail reported each federally-funded streetlight “contains a speaker system to broadcast emergency alerts, and a video display and is also equipped with proximity sensors capable of recording both pedestrian and road traffic.”

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and BenSwann.com. Dedicated to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud. Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at www.TheLibertarianChick.com.

  • Kevin Merck

    The people of Arizona got rid of all the traffic cameras that were issuing tickets based on video evidence and then sending the ticket in the mail. They could’ve just complained about the practice and did nothing, but they chose to stop paying the tickets and made enough noise until the cameras were removed.

    There’s a lot of things people can do to stop this illegal invasion of our privacy but it requires an ability to get angry enough to take action. Most people are so brainwashed by **feminist nutcases** who want to put people in jail for getting angry that our society has become a zombie apocalypse.

    Don’t like the spying capabilities of your cell-phone? Take the battery out when you’re not using it. Every one of their measures to spy on us has a counter measure.

    • tooktheoath

      I might add that Payson AZ is still issuing photo radar tix…..the problem with this is a private company based in Scottsdale owns the cameras, and by proxy takes the photos then notifies the court it has a violator then the Private company sends Court letterhead violations to the address of the License plate holder of that vehicle on behalf of the court. That private company has a vested interest in finding violators, and in the past has been caught fudging the calibration certs of those cameras. In essence the Photo Radars are Un-Constitutional. It is done by a private company with no Police or State law enforcement issuing the tix. To add insult to injury the tickets the private company sends to photo radar violation recipients is twice the fine of that if you were caught violating by a Police officer or State law enforcement officer. How about them apples!

    • airportcabbie

      Not exactly true. The Governor Jan Brewer didn’t renew the contract for the cameras on Arizona’s HIGHWAYS because they weren’t making the state as much money as they had initially thought they would. The cameras are still in the cities and counties throughout the state unfortunately. Just not on the state’s highways.

      Additionally many of the newer cell phones have non-removable batteries as a “feature”.

      • Kevin Merck

        As for the first part of your comment that’s not what the news was reporting. My understanding was that people were refusing to pay.

        As for the cell phones, you can choose to get a phone with a removable battery.

        I think you’re just trying to be a smart ass. There is a counter measure for every tyranny they try to impose on us. You can do something about it if you want. You seem like the kind of person who likes the TSA’s hands down your pants.

        • henrybowman

          People were “refusing to pay” because of the way the state law is written. The law requires “personal service” of tickets. Speed camera tickets were simply mailed to people, which is not a legal service, so people were legally justified in ignoring it. The issuer always has the option of re-serving the ignored tickets legally, but the number of people ignoring the tickets swamped the bureaucracy to the point where they could only afford to pursue a fraction of the cases.

          • Kevin Merck

            That makes sense Henry, thanks for the explanation.

            The important part is that “people refused to pay” and that’s what needs to happen.

        • BambiB

          What is the countermeasure for sending mini-drones crawling through your home? Burn the house down?

          For most other technologies, the “countermeasure” means not using the technology at all. Even encrypting email will only hide the content of an email. The “envelope” still tells them who you’re contacting.

          • Kevin Merck

            “For most other technologies, the “countermeasure” means not using the technology at all.”

            I’m not going to argue with that. We survived on this planet for a long time without them.

          • nunyaBiznesS

            White Noise…

  • ehmbee

    Golly, I feel so safe!

  • rogerfgay

    Oh come on! You’re not going to say anything about tracking all bank and bank transaction records? I’m getting close to saying “Shame on you!”

    • Johnny Thomas

      I believe it says “crazy” ways. Everybody knows they track us in the banking system, that’s too easy.

      • rogerfgay

        So your definition of “crazy” is that it seems familiar? I think that has something to do with the story of boiling frogs. Heat the water slowly and they don’t really notice. Could also explain why, after more than two decades, we not only haven’t put a stop to it; but people respond as though it doesn’t even matter. No wonder things have gotten so far out of hand.

  • Dustin

    You forgot the more recent revelations about the FBI and NSA being able to access your smartphones data….. which by the way, they use malware programs to turn on the webcams and mics, just as they do with computers!

  • Joseph

    Does that mean they can spy on people outside the US too?
    BTW, people around me are having a hard time believing that any of this is true, so could anyone link me a solid proof or leaked documents proving this? Cause they’ll deny it anyhow unless I show them something good.

    • Josh Bray

      You could follow the sources cited for each one.

      Searching for more articles on the topic with search engines helps too.

      If sources like the NYT, The Guardian, and straight from people like Mueller’s mouth won’t sway them, then friend, I am afraid not much else will.

    • BambiB

      Better yet, get them to turn over the information necessary to identify and track them… and sign a waiver saying that anyone can spy on them, photograph them, track them, monitor their phone calls, etc. I’m sure there are hackers out there who would enjoy the challenge – and really enjoy humiliating them with what they uncover.

      • Joseph

        I was surprised when they actually believed this with no documents or proof, however, they said “So what, the government is spying on them to protect them from terrorists and terrorism.

        I didn’t really know what to say then, but it’s all wrong.. you’re violating someone’s privacy. Anyways, really.. you mean to tell me.. that the CIA doesn’t know who’s a terrorist and who’s not? Who’s suspected and who’s not?

        If they got all the country monitored in every way.. how can there still be criminals?

  • Brutus Lincoln Paine

    Time to turn all those high-priced gadgets on them and ask them where the country’s stolen 17 trillion dollars is.

  • Josh Bray

    Number 9.

    Law enforcement can use your smartphones and computers to spy on you.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/02/report-fbi-can-remotely-turn-on-phone-microphones-for-spying/

    Working in my own laptop repair business a few years ago, I reported a suspicious case to the police who told me to give it back to person who may have stolen said laptop. Police used the laptop webcam and speakers to locate and arrest him and others in their house. This is also something hackers do with ease.

  • BambiB

    Heck, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You ought to figure that every email you send is being automatically reviewed and stored… forever. Your cell phone doesn’t just spy on your via GPS, it records wherever you go by relaying the identity of every cell tower you pass. It can be remotely set to turn on and listen to your conversations – without giving any indication to you that you’re being monitored. You might as well figure that all phone calls are being recorded too. Britain started doing that over a decade ago – every single phone call recorded and retained for at least seven years.

    Your “OnStar” link may be listening in on you – the FBI has used that in the past. GPS devices have been put on people’s cars to be tracked by the police – without warrants. The government is working on a system to report every single credit card transaction you make – and is already monitoring bank accounts. Drones have already been developed (years back) no bigger than a large insect, capable of crawling through the ductwork of a building and spying on you. The police have thermal vision cameras that allow them to “see through walls”. Yep, they can drive down the street and look right through the wall of your bedroom. Then there are the TSA strip-search machines. Some states are now implementing mandatory blood testing in the field. (So, are the cops guilty of battery if they stab you, draw blood, and you’re NOT guilty?)

    There’s miniature transponder technology – RFIDS – that find legitimate use in retail, but also find use in tracking people. These have been so reduced in size that the smallest are referred to as “motes”. Agents of the government can sprinkle a small amount of what looks like dust on a subject, and every time they pass a reader, their position is recorded, plus they leave a trail of motes.

    Whenever you go through a toll gate, your license plate number is recorded. It doesn’t matter if you are paying cash or using a toll transponder – the location of your car is recorded along with the time.

    Your electricity usage is being monitored. In one notable case in Southern California, the power company notified the cops that the power consumption of a certain house had increased. The cops used that information to stake out the house and observed that the occupants put their trash out just before the garbage truck arrived. With ONLY THOSE TWO PIECES OF INFORMATION, the cops got a search warrant, conducted a drug raid and arrested the entire family. As one of the family members, a 12-year-old boy lay handcuffed face-down on the floor, one of the cops had an “accidental discharge” of his 12-gauge shotgun, killing the boy. No evidence of drugs, or any other wrong-doing was found – but the family was hauled off to jail where they waited for hours before finally being told that the police had killed the boy.

    So what was going on? Turns out, there were dogs in the neighborhood overturning trash cans, so the family put their trash out just before pickup to avoid trash being strewn about the streets. And the spike in power usage? The family needs more money – so mom started taking in extra laundry. The spike in the power bill was from the additional cost to heat water and dry clothes.

    THIS IS HOW THE POLICE STATE USES THE INFORMATION THEY GET.

    And let’s not forget the government’s “mind-reading” research. No, they can’t actually read your thoughts – yet. But what they can do is hook you up to a machine, ask you a question or show you a picture, and record your INVOLUNTARY response. It’s like a super lie-detector.

    I’m sure I’ve left out lots of information – but under the heading of “what can I do about it”, I would recommend, as a starter, that you get a copy of GnuPrivacyGuard (GPG), which is a FREE, OPEN-SOURCE download and start encrypting your emails. Though the government has reportedly broken the encryption used by HTTPS (128-bit), they have yet to break (and probably never will break) the GPG encryption, which can have keys as long as 8192 bits. Get encrypted.

    • defyentropy

      well said, good post! My son is using GPG and encouraging me to as well – guess I better get with it. It’s not just your fridge, every new electronic device you bring into your home is remotely accessible either through the hardware or built in software back doors. Privacy in the home environment is gone, gone, gone. I continue to hold out hope we can get a handle on this by replacing many of our elected officials, but I grow more skeptical all the time. It’s hard to put a genie back in the bottle!

  • Baja Artists

    Nice right up Kristin Tate…

    • ozdave

      Is that the American spelling for write?

      • Baja Artists

        No it’s the American Wrong way, Mr wizard.

  • Tim

    I’d like to see some sources to do my own research. This is scary at the least but before I start citing this stuff I’d like to have sources to back it up. Thanks!

  • L King

    The whole drone thing just plain isn’t true – at least not in U.S. airspace. The FAA is terrified of the safety aspect of unmanned aircraft and the level of restrictions as to where they can fly, when and under what circumstances are heavily controlled. There are no “drones” flying around over any towns, cities, or privately owned land.
    I’m not saying it is not possible in the future if they loosen restrictions, but as things stand right now, it is not happening.

    • akhilleus

      What altitude does a drone fly at.. and what kind of optics are they equipped with?

      • L King

        There aren’t any restrictions on altitude. As long as they are within the boundaries of the prescribed restricted airspace (ie: airspace that has been designated specifically for military use) As far as optics go, it depends entirely upon the type/specs of the UA in question, and there are many different types. I am not an expert on UAs, I’m an air traffic controller who works on a military base that is also one of the few training sites for UAS pilots in the U.S.

        • akhilleus

          So is it possible that drones could fly outside of FAA airspace.. I personally have no idea what altitude the FAA does watch up to. But I am curious whether drones could fly high altitude, with wicked deadly optics…

          • L. King

            I see your point. I suppose it is possible above 60000 ft. Like I said I’m not familiar with the optics…

    • ozdave

      Great, so they’re only spying on you in 7 ways. Plus the others you don’t know about of course.

  • isthisnameokay

    So when do we put a stop to this ?

    • ozdave

      too late for you guys in the good ole USA.

  • Dawn

    Wait till you see what they’re gonna do with that fridge data and Obamacare…;(

    Also, get into your phone’s settings and turn off location services! Can they still track you? Yep. But they can’t use it as evidence in court.

  • Steve

    It’s not “Obama’s” NSA; it existed way before he was in office.