The NSA is Watching
I’m not entirely sure why, buy Yahoo seems quite concerned about my well-being. Every few weeks or so, they send me an unsolicited note suggesting that I change my email password for security purposes. For some reason, the prescient minds behind my email provider believe my password to be hopelessly inadequate in its ability to protect me from the ruthless computer hackers lying in wait for any opportunity to go sifting through my personal emails. Just who do they think I am? Hilary Clinton?
Relax there Yahoo, no one is itching to get their crafty little hands on my emails, and even if they did, I wouldn’t be that concerned. There’s really not that much to see. I’m just not that important.
Ever since Edward Snowden informed us that the NSA has seen, and perhaps even commented on, every single dick pic we have ever sent, the country has been up in arms about cybersecurity and the possibility that our own government might be spying on us. Now, I acknowledge that the idea of a government spying on its citizens should elicit some real concern, but please forgive me if I refuse to worry about my own online privacy. I’m just not the one the NSA is looking for.
Still, I have friends who exhort me to come up with a slightly more complicated password than “password123”. This, they tell me, is the equivalent of leaving my house key right under the front doormat. While I understand why it is important to safeguard my social security number or credit card information from hackers who might exploit that information, I am just not sure what deep, dark secret they think someone is going to find in my email. Apparently, my friends and Yahoo both think my life must be substantively more exciting than it really is.
Yes, I have political opinions, but I am hardly Che Guevara ready to start the next revolution. Sure, I’ve made my share of derogatory comments about President Trump, but who the hell hasn’t? If the NSA wants to start trolling for commentary aimed against our current leader, they better sign up for more bandwidth from their internet provider. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for all those NSA operatives to read every anti-Trump sentiment.
I’ve never belonged to or communicated with any pro-military group or far-out anti-government network that seems to gather in the shadows of the internet. No, in fact, I think they are just as creepy and weird as the NSA does. Likewise, I have never been part of a religious cult or been involved with a violent religious sect. I’ve never visited an Islamic nation, and while I like to consider myself to be fairly open-minded, I don’t even have an email pen pal named Aasif.
But what if the NSA goes rifling through the treasure trove of sexual material I have sent to and from current or past girlfriends? Well, if so, please be my guest! I hope they like what they see. If so, I encourage them to drop me a line. Because whatever I have or have not shared is hardly going to make one of these people stop in their tracks. If they are truly checking out all the intimate details of Americans’ sex lives, there is nothing in my portfolio these people have not seen before. My guess is that the only thing that might shock these folks at this point would be a video that somehow managed to include a young Asian girl, the cast of Full House, a squid, and a bottle full of carpenter ants. The rest I will have to leave to your imagination.
Before we all go screaming like Chicken Little about the sky falling down on email security, perhaps we need to take a moment or two and think through just what we think is in our email that the government might be so interested in in the first place. Again, I am not suggesting that we should not be highly concerned and vigilant about a government that spies on its own citizens, but what are you as an individual so worried about? What email have you sent that keeps you up at night from the fear that it might be seen by the NSA? Not the boss you maligned in an email to a co-worker, not the ex you revealed every secret about to your best friend, not your mom who still doesn’t know you had sex in the family basement back when you were in high school- the NSA. Just what makes you think they care about you?
Because if you think the NSA cares about you, you are either more dangerous than I am or into way freakier stuff. Either way, I suggest you get a new password. I’m thinking of using “password456”.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com