The Guardian has put together this intensive explanation of everything the NSA revelations mean for average Joe Internet User, with videos, interviews and interactive diagrams. Above, an example of how many people would get examined by the NSA based on Facebook contacts if you were under observation.
Cell phones, laptops, Facebook, Skype, chat-rooms: all allow the NSA to build what it calls a pattern of life, a detailed profile of a target and anyone associated with them.
And the number of people caught up in this dragnet can be huge.
You don't need to be talking to a terror suspect to have your communications data analysed by the NSA. The agency is allowed to travel "three hops" from its targets who could be people who talk to people who talk to people who talk to you. Facebook, where the typical user has 190 friends, shows how three degrees of separation gets you to a network bigger than the population of Colorado. How many people are three "hops" from you?
|“Tech companies are picking a big public fight with the NSA because it looks good.”|
|“How Facebook Gave my Data Away Without Me Knowing.”|
|Watch_Dogs: Real-Time Geotagged Data|
|How ProPublica Figured Out the Unnamed Telecommunication Company Helping the NSA was AT&T|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“A short cut through spacetime allowing for travel over cosmic scale distances in a short period.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Time Lapse of Planet Earth as Seen from the Space Station|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|“If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|
|“Reliably bottling up miniature stars, inside complex machines on Earth, demands otherworldly amounts of patience.”|
|Read Advice People Wish They Had at Your Age|
|NSFW: Norwegian Public Television Has Nudity, Masturbation and Orgasms|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Timelapse of a Tesla Model 3 Being Made|