Privacy today faces growing threats from a growing surveillance apparatus that is too often justified in the name of national security. Numerous government agencies—including the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and state and local law enforcement agencies—intrude upon the private communications of innocent citizens, amass vast databases of who we call and when, and catalog “suspicious activities” based on the vaguest standards. Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where it’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. Even the most truthful and innocent comment can be used to bring criminal charges against you, or to get you listed as a “threat” by some government agency. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, writing in Rubin v. United States 524 U.S. 1301 (1998) stated: “The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.”
Without any factual indication of wrongdoing or threat to national security, government agents may now use intrusive investigative techniques including but not limited to confidential informants, interviews under false pretenses, and unlimited physical surveillance techniques previously reserved for investigations supported by a factual criminal predicate. You don’t have to have done anything wrong to become a target of government retaliation, investigation, and harassment.
This book highlights the threat from the surveillance state, from government over-reach, police corruption, and the constant intrusion into our private lives. The author then lists several programs, apps, and tools that you can use to fight back against the surveillance state and build a security culture that helps to protect yourself from government over-reach, abuse, harassment, and other misconduct.