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My NSA-induced paranoia level:

Displaying poll results.
They could not care less about me
  6080 votes / 30%
They might be watching what sites I visit
  3776 votes / 19%
They have a detailed file about me
  5527 votes / 27%
Same as above, and they are out to get me
  892 votes / 4%
They're about to break down my door
  885 votes / 4%
Living off the grid with CowboyNeal
  2656 votes / 13%
19816 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My NSA-induced paranoia level:

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  • First and third (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @06:07AM (#44359381)

    They are not exclusive.

    • Re:First and third (Score:5, Insightful)

      by marcello_dl (667940) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @06:40AM (#44359475) Homepage Journal

      Exactly. Widespread surveillance is made to have something to use against potential threats (to national security? Nope, the nation is what is being spied. To the status quo? that's more likely and always happened in the past).
      But most of the targets are not harmful. It's just nice to be able to blackmail or convict everyone if the need arises.

      • Re:First and third (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rvw (755107) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @07:45AM (#44359693)

        But most of the targets are not harmful. It's just nice to be able to blackmail or convict everyone if the need arises.

        Exactly. This is what we should be scared of.

        • Yet we give away our personal information all the time, implicitly trusting online companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Not sure how I should feel about the Government keeping tabs on those already keeping tabs on me.

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        It's just nice to be able to blackmail or convict everyone if the need arises.

        It's just nice to be able to blackmail or convict everyone once the "need" has been created.


    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you're that concerned, just change your name to Ben Ghazi and then the government and media will ignore you.

  • You know those privileged extended families where some of the kids go into cushy government/corporate positions while the other kids become rebels because they hate what the other half of their family are doing? Well, in my youth, I was in the latter sort.

    And it was pretty much a given that
    1) people did take an interest in what I was doing, but more for people I associated with than who I actually was myself (i.e. fairly irrelevant); and
    2) it was unlikely that I would come to any harm, because I knew the ri

  • Paranoid or not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @06:25AM (#44359435)
    Whether paranoid or not, or r(d)etail/wholesale , they are after you anyway.
    The relevant question is: are you doing something about it (or just feel ashamed that someone may call you paranoid)?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by disi (1465053)
      This is what I thought. It doesn't matter who you are, nationality, criminal records etc. They have a file about you anyway because storage is cheap.
    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      It's not so much that they're after you. It's just that they regard you (and everyone else) as potential criminals. The data they collect is simply the "evidence" they will be able to deploy once they decide that the "potential" has crossed some mythical line and you (or I) should now be brought to book.

      In the health services the philosophy is "there's no such thing as a healthy person - just one who's maladies haven't been diagnosed yet". So it is with citizenship. Everyone has broken the law - maybe kno

  • Rigging the game (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They're not after me personally, but the NSAs and GCHQs around the world changes how everything works.

    With such detailed information about everyone, they can silently make indirect key changes that tips the world in whatever
    direction they so desire. Politicians they dislikes are given a steeper hill to climb, as things tends to work against them.

    I think the US or UK or any countries that has such secret, uncontrollable, and powerful adversary working against
    its own population from within disqualifies it as

  • by eexaa (1252378) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @06:54AM (#44359529) Homepage

    all this "polls" nonsense is useless now. Just ask NSA, they know what you'd say.

  • by philovivero (321158) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @07:27AM (#44359631) Homepage Journal

    Let's make a poll. Those silly guys keep talking about how the government is spying on all of us. Those silly tinfoil hatters!

    Oh, my. There is a cabinet in a major data interconnect area siphoning off all data. Probably nothing. Imagine what those silly tinfoil hatters are gonna say about it! Ha ha. Let's make a poll.

    Oh my. There are some leaks showing potentially massive surveillance of everyone, but probably nothing. This is gonna suck. Those silly tinfoil hatters are gonna have a heyday with this.

    Oh my. The executive branch has been conclusively shown to be wholesale spying on everyone, and lying to the legislative branch about it, and the legislative and judicial branches have been proven to be at the best lax in their duties to reign in the executive branch.

    Let's make another poll making fun of the tinfoil hatters.

  • by fearofcarpet (654438) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @08:04AM (#44359751)

    Due to the nature of my job, I spend most of my time abroad and frequently communicate with "suspect" countries. I also engage in international communications involving the US on a regular basis. Given that Obama blows unidentified people up for a "pattern of behaviors" in so-called signature strikes, I say go ahead and laugh at my tinfoil hat. I will never know how my years of paranoia--using proxies, encryption, etc., on a regular basis--have influenced what data the NSA have been able to pin to whatever unique hash represents me in their secret databases, but I hesitate to call it paranoia now... more like prescience.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      I will never know how my years of paranoia--using proxies, encryption, etc., on a regular basis--have influenced what data the NSA have been able to pin to whatever unique hash represents me in their secret databases, but I hesitate to call it paranoia now... more like prescience.

      What you have done is illuminate yourself with a spot light. Good job.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      Given that Obama blows unidentified people

      I've heard a lot of accusations but I believe that's a new one...

  • by a2wflc (705508) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @08:16AM (#44359801)

    but, they are watching everyone and that includes a lot of people who's decisions affect me. If they are collecting information illegally, who's to say they won't use it illegally. For example to influence congressional oversight or even to tilt a campaign toward the congressman who is more likely to be pro-NSA.

    On a less 'conspiracy theory' line of thought, the CEO of my global company may decide that the US isn't the best place to do business.

    So, even though they don't care about me, their collection of my information can affect me in big ways since that collection is part of a big, poorly-targeted surveillance system.

  • by soccerisgod (585710) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @08:35AM (#44359921)
    I'm not worried they read my email or listen to my phone conversations. It's when they start to read the email and listen to the phone conversations of the members of the secret services oversight committee that my justified paranoia is in full bloom. You want to publically critizise broad unwarrented surveillance? Does the public know you're into fetish porn? Do you want them to?
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @08:53AM (#44360011) Homepage

    I'm probably not identified as a likely terrorist, but I've said enough and written enough and protested enough publicly that I might have grabbed their attention. In addition, I know some people who met these clowns [] at a political protest, and since they've said they're looking at 3 degrees of separation, I fall under that umbrella.

    I doubt they spent more than a few minutes on me, but I have every reason to believe they looked into my activities.

  • They can see which fingers I am waving at them... one on each hand, of course.

  • It's been a while since I've seen that missing option. Welcome back! Finally, /. polls feel warm and fuzzy again. BRB girlscout at door...

    • by Smivs (1197859)
      Yay! A cowboy neal option at last!
      I voted for that on principle - I don't give a f**k about NSA any more than they probably (don't) care about me. But cowboy neal, I like :)
  • by sootman (158191) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @09:45AM (#44360393) Homepage Journal

    They probably don't care about me, but I object to what they're doing on principle.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @09:50AM (#44360427) Homepage Journal

    "They could not care less about me, but all it takes is one guy two hops away for them to be one step away from breaking down my door"

  • They already have my fingerprints and likely have a nice metadata repository. It doesn't help that I'm a free-thinker and believe the entire government structure in this country is corrupt. I think that's a majority view nowadays anyhow though.

  • by o2binbuzios (612965) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @10:28AM (#44360777)

    A few years back I showed up at the airport without my ID (i'd taken it out to show ID at a bar, yadda, yadda) . Assuming I wouldn't be able to fly, I went to ask the TSA agent to be sure, and to my surprise, they said, go over to this desk over here and we'll ask you a few questions.

    The agent asked for my name and SSN, then in a matter of seconds called up a list of questions such as: The first car I ever registered, What my address was in 1992, when the last time I traveled internationally... I couldn't answer one of the questions and they simply added in a few more. This was probably 2008 and front line TSA agent had access to a voluminous profile on me. I can imagine an FBI agent would have access to a lot more and now with the BIG Data projects the NSA is - they probably could paint an accurate picture of my finances, travel habits and web/communications trends.

    So yes, I was able to fly - but I left with my head spinning about how well I was profiled even then.

    • by mhotchin (791085) <slashdot AT hotchin DOT net> on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @09:04PM (#44367035)

      Mod "+1, Frightening"

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      That really is a lot different to surveillance. All the data you mentioned is really just everything you have submitted to the government about yourself through various agencies and then compiled for ease of access, organizing what you have given them is significantly different from them going out and monitoring and/or discovering information about you.
      • by schklerg (1130369)
        Exactly - and a lot of the data is public and just waiting to be aggregated. Lexis Nexis has a service like this. As does Verizon. As does Experian. We give up a lot of data for services, and when it is consolidated it can be surprising what is known. Some of my favorite questions from those types of things are 'in what county does your younger sister live' or 'what hospital was your oldest child born in'.
  • by Pope Raymond Lama (57277) <> on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @11:06AM (#44361119) Homepage

    "They have a detailed file about me, and I could not care less about them"

  • that sometimes I have kinda weird but harmless taste in porn, and spend too much time on Slashdot and Reddit. Horrors.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @11:30AM (#44361337)

    So that's why CowboyNeal has been absent on the poll options lately! He's been hiding from the NSA! It's all explained now. :)

  • If you don't think the NSA has detailed files on you, then you are an idiot. Saying that doesn't make me paranoid.

  • none (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @02:43PM (#44363735) Homepage Journal

    All of the options are 20th century.

    The very point of what has been revealed is that none of this is true, and the truth is much worse.

    They don't watch you or keep a file on you. And they care and don't care at the same time. Basically, you don't exist except as a metadata field until someone mentions your name and asks for your data. Only then, because they are vacuuming up everything can they run a big search and create that huge file on you on demand. And not just on you, on everyone.

    William Gibson was right. If he had written stories about what is reality today, 20 years ago we would've laughed about how over-the-edge paranoid he is.

  • Most immigrants should be ticking "they have a detailed file about me", of course they are freely given the majority of the information by the applicant while they go through the various visa/greencard/naturalization processes so perhaps it isn't quite the same.

  • Snowden gave money to the Ron Paul campaign. Political contributions by average citizens (who don't have SuperPACs) are public knowledge. I can bet that if I, who also gave money to the Paul campaign and the EFF, decided to apply for a job with the NSA these two facts of public knowledge would prompt a search of all they'd collected about me or with the dragnet. I rather doubt I'd get the job.
  • Hee. Hee. Cranky old guy is ranting online again.

    Now get off my router!

  • Applied for a job at GCHQ once, have attended various royal and political events etc. Don't suppose they're particularly bothered.

  • I don't think they care about me, but they are not using the heavy hand yet. I think they are still targeting what the believe to be genuine threats to public safety. If the government paranoia reaches the point that they start viewing political challenges as threast then we are all in trouble.

    What they will do when the next wave of McCarthyism [] arrives really scares me. They probably still won't care about me, but I might fall into a target demographic. Major damage

  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @09:06PM (#44367045)
    CowboyNeal is an Edward Snowden's nickname?
  • I'm just happy that that was proper "English". And I always like to use double "that" when ever I can.
  • ...but really, any of the first three can realistically be a fact. Theoretically, "they could care less about me" could be true based on their statements that once they find out who you are (and no doubt they have years of data definitely pointing right at me). On the other hand, who knows what will happen in the future, if they start deciding to secretly go after people, whose data can lead to every single American being accused of "illegal" activities?

    All of the sudden, they go from "couldn't care less"

  • Whatever concerns anyone might have about the NSA, however you think they could have possibly spied on you (whether they bothered or not) your lack of security means there are a thousand other parties just like them, to whom you're just as vulnerable.


    If you're worried about the NSA, and I'm not even saying that's dumb, then also worry about the Chinese, the Russians, the kid next door, and Nigerian spammers. Your plaintext is as equally visible to anyone who wants to read it. OTOH if you have your

  • weaponized anthrax aerosols

  • The options today sound like The Chicken Heart [].

    It's in your home state!
    It's outside of your door!
    And it's going to eat you up!

    A la Bill Cosby, I'm gettin' out the Jell-O.

  • My level of paranoia is, "I think they've collected and are storing a lot of information about me but are not actively reviewing it and are unlikely to ever have any interest in it."

  • Clearances mean they've had a detailed file about me for decades. The price I pay for some interesting geekery.
  • by Marrow (195242) on Wednesday July 24, 2013 @01:58PM (#44372225)

    It can hurt the competitiveness of companies making it seem like big companies just get lucky all the time
    It can hurt the democratic process making it seem like new parties and ideas just cant seem to get off the ground.
    It can hurt the system of justice making it seem like all the "big guys" get away with it all the time.
    It can hurt the economic system making it seem like the "insiders" never miss an opportunity for easy money.

    Its not busting down the door that worries me (much). Its the slow decline and malaise that comes with bad people using this tool to stay in control and win without having to try.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson


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