Can they hear me now?

32-year NSA veteran, Jedi mathematician and whistleblower William Binney claims that software he developed to spy on the former Soviet Union is being used to spy on American citizens and that the NSA’s new data storage facility in Bluffdale, Utah has the capacity to store 100 years’ worth of the world’s electronic communications. According to the NSA’s manual of definitions and legal directives, you see, it’s perfectly legal for them to gather and archive any person’s email threads, purchase history, search queries, prescription refills and real-time GPS coordinates without justification because “intercept,” as they define it, doesn’t take place until the data collected is accessed by a human being … when and if the need to do so arises. Wink, wink. Prior to that, it’s just you being a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

So grow the hell up.

If you’re realio trulio concerned about your privacy and realio trulio prepared to do something about it, I see only one course of action open to you. Get off the grid. And I do mean OFF. Survivor-style off. Change your name, tell nobody what you’re doing, buy your camping gear with small bills and steal under cover of night into the northern Canadian wilderness. Goodbye forever. Enjoy your privacy.

Otherwise, as I said, grow the hell up. Privacy, as traditionally defined, is and has been for quite some time an illusion. A quaint anachronism. Sure, sure, shredding your credit card statements is a fine idea. The janitorial industry, as we all know, is a hotbed of identity theft. And popping the battery out of your cell phone as you drive to the motel might make it harder for a private detective to prove that you’re cheating on your wife, but privacy? You checked that shit at the door, compadre. Nice underwear.