This is why you should use the most data security you can
Originally Posted by Kivada
Feds are still feds. The NSA trumps up terrorism charges, the FBI nabs you, the TSA throws you on a plane, the CIA "renditions" you in some shithole country for the rest of your short and extremely painful existence.
As archers facing Orcs were told in Helm's Deep (LOTR) "show them no mercy, for you shall receive none!" This includes making really sensitive stuff like your location, your purchase records, etc as hard to get as possible. For me as a producer of activist videos against things like US wars, IMF style globalization and gentrification, this is a deadly serious matter. People have gone to prison for years after being ratted on by Facebook or Youtube.
The US has long classified everything they could, trying to deny all possible information to all potential opponents. Anyone seeing the US as a potential opponent should do the same. I go out of my way to limit my electronic trail to what I deliberately publish for this reason. Open source software only, no binary drivers. Fully encrypted computers and flash drives, camera cards dd'd full of random numbers at intervals. Browser run in RAM so computers hold no data from online work-even if disk encryption gets cracked. Shredding, not deleting old files for the same reason.
No Facebook, Google, or domestic email accounts. Heavy anti-tracking and anti-fingerprinting in the browser. Use of Tor for sensitive online work. locally-used GPG for "important" email encryption. Batteries out of the dumbphone when not making an outgoing call. No electronic banking or currency, no transit smartcards, not driving to places that need to be deniable, using the bike for that. Cash-only, no name for buying anything electronic or sensitive. No one defense is trusted, they work together in depth.
None of these offer any guarantee, just as a Snowden can blow the whistle on the NSA. Taken together, however, they hugely increase the workload to spy on my activities. They are free to read my published posts, but have to work for anything else. They can't just buy or intercept it from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Blue Cava, Scout analytics, etc. One of my encrypted computers already defeated any police attempts to decrypt it after a 2008 house raid. This stuff is not a joke to me!
If everyone the NSA actually wanted to spy on did things like this and more, they would need a lot more employees and a lot more computers than they have. That is the goal of keeping everything that can be kept secret secret, for us and for them. Oh that fancy new Utah data center for the NSA? It just got fried by a series of power surges, they estimate at least a year to rebuild! In turn, if you plan against the NSA as your prime surveillance adversary, you will automatically defeat lesser opponents like the Secret Service and the FBI, and local cops will just throw in the towel.