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If the NSA does it, why not collect your spouse's daily data?

October 28, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I don’t know if spying on heads of state of our allies has always gone on to some extent, but it amazes me that I’m hearing the average citizen getting a bit upset about it.

So, just to be clear, you’re angry that we’re spying on the German chancellor, but you think it protects you that every keystroke you make is stored in some big server farm in Utah.

I’m not sure I get that, but to get my wife fired up, I asked her what if, in the name of security, I started going through her iPhone every night, just hooked it up to my MacBook and downloaded everything she did today.

“I’d be angry,” The Boss said in her soft and gentle voice that indicated she knew I’d never do such a thing or I would lose vital organs to the food processor.

So, think about it.

Let’s take Jim and Lisa (totally made up names, and I think I don’t personally know any Jims married to Lisas, so apologies to any Jims and LIsas who might read this, if any).

Jim has no suspicion that his wife is up to anything. However, as an American, he already owns a new Glock, three AR-15s, the house alarm, the aftermarket armor plate on the pickup truck, six 55-gallon drums of water in the basement and the survival bunker he just completed in the back yard. He’s decided to take the next American step in family protection. He’s spying on his wife’s electronic communications.

But he’s a bit worried. Seems she has someone she communicates with named Muhammad.

“What did you know about Boston and when did you know it,” Jim nonchalantly asked over dinner.

Lisa dropped her fork and glared at Jim. “What?”

“You heard me. Who is Muhammad Cznarnerek, and why are you e-mailing him?”

Lisa began to laugh. “Muhammad is the guy who does my job in the Los Angeles office. He’s an American. He was born here. And why do you know I’m e-maiing him? It’s work stuff. Wait. Have you been going through my e-mails?”

“Well, not going through, per se. I’ve been downloading all your contacts and e-mail headers every night for the past six months. Just want to be sure you’re not going to give anyone any access to us they shouldn’t have.”

Lisa now is angry. “Access? Like I’m going to give them the electronic code to the bunker or the access code to the front door?”

“I’m not actually doing anything with the data. Just hanging on to it in case something happens,” Jim said in self defense.

Lisa said, “Like what? What’s going to happen, Jim?”

Jim glared back, “Well, I don’t know. But something could happen. Remember when the neighbors started fighting over Harold having an affair. You can never be too sure. Anyway, other than Muhammad, I’m not even considering watching anything else in your contact list or your e-mails. Really. It’s all good. I just think in case something would happen, we should keep some records of who was contacting whom and when.”

Lisa stood up, stretched, grabbed her phone and started dialing.

“Well, Jim, hope you recognize my attorney’s number. This is going to cost you plenty. And I”m keeping the house and ther bunker and the pickup and one AR-15,” she said.

That seems to me a more realistic reaction than what the nation is doing with this whole NSA thing.

But then again, maybe I’m upset for no reason. The Boss pointed out that the idiots in DC cannot even get a simple website working, so what are the chances that the server farm and spy program actually works anyway?

She’s right. I figure eventually, some janitor will trip over the only power plug in the whole million square-foot server farm and disconnect the thing.


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