No, my thoughts are not about electronic surveillance. I have been aware for years they vacuum everything into their flexible algorithmic filters; they can read your passwords, they can read your mail. If they want to know, they know you through and through. They can listen to your phones. They can scan your favourite websites. Your email can be read at any time.
The reason they do not do so is that you are not important enough. They are also constrained by budgets and laws of evidence that limit the uses they can make of what you wrote to your lover/wife/buddy/girlfriend/ baseball team/employer. As regards the Internet, abandon privacy all ye who enter here.
My biggest concern about this level of eavesdropping is that they do not discriminate effectively or precisely against jihadists, but rather try to disrupt anti-jihadist forces in North American and Europe. But to the point, Dalwhinnie!
My paranoid thought is this: they are going to legalize marihuana, in a way that will be maximally profitable to a small set of growers and injurious to all amateurs of the craft. Say good-bye to tasty local produce! Say good- bye to your local grower, for he is off to jail. This may be how they do it.
- First, eliminate competition. Make growing for personal use illegal. Apparently Harper has just done so, but I must confirm.
- Crack down on small growers.
- Ensure small growers only get pure female seeds, so that they depend from season to season on the suppliers. Then…
- Turn marihuana into a patented product, held by Monsanto or a large agri-food concern.
- Once you hold the patent on marihuana, every other grower is in patent infringement.
- Enforce your patents.
- Sell in tightly controlled circumstances.
- Tax the hell out of the monopoly or oligopoly supply.
Sounds like the kind of thing they would do, eh?
Compared to which, NSA/CSE electronic surveillance is positively benign in intention and roughly useful in outcomes.