Free Ways to Keep Big Brother Out of Your Bidness
Cell Phone Madness
I just love finding out that the government can find new and unique ways to listen in on our lives. News reports and bloggers are all atwitter today about the news that the FBI can listen in on your coversations while your cell phone is off, by tapping into your microphone. It's like wearing a wireless wire!
GPS signals from cell phones and even vehicle-based emergency services like OnStar offer other ways for you to be tracked, and many companies are proud to discuss the employee-tracking businesses that they run.
Free Fix: Protect yourself from government cell-phone bugging by taking your battery out of your cell when you feel like discussing the 1st Amendment. Or the 4th. Or the Constitution or any kind of rights. I am a little torn about systems like OnStar, because I feel like they can be useful, as can LoJack. I've used both, and will continue to do so.
Got a new government-issued passport recently? Worried about the ebedded RFID chip that can be scanned from a distance, thereby giving all of your information away to any tech-savvy scanner in an airport?
Free Fix: Wired.com gives you the heavy-handed lowdown on how to disable the RFID chip and protect your identity, with smashingly successful results.
Traditional wiretaps are always fun. It's very Nancy Drew, but every now and then, when I use a certain relative's landline, I hear a ticking sound that makes me a little nervous. If I were a titian-haired teenage detective, I might do something about it.
Free Fix: You can figure out if someone is tapping your phone by looking directly at the wire. Who knew?
The FBI, NSA, and plenty of even more shadowy government agencies monitor network traffic, read emails, troll chat rooms, and probably get plenty of financial advice from frugal bloggers.
It's really hard to know right now if the government is reading your snail mail, and we don't know quite enough yet to determine if your mail has been tampered with. Because Congress is finally growing a pair and taking the President to task for trampling all over our citizen's liberties, we'll just have to see how this one plays out.