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Monday, July 29, 2013

Late to the party 1

It's been an eventful few weeks and months and whatnot. I almost feel a bit bad about not posting on current events, but then I feel like that's not exactly what this blog is about and that other blogs (e.g. iPott) are a lot better if you want to stay more informed about personal data security/privacy and the like. My blog is probably only interesting to people who are curious about my life and reading about what I've been up to (so, I guess any number of international intelligence agencies? 'Sup, guys...)

Many of my fellow Iron Bloggers chose to write about (and take part in) the "Stop Watching Us - We are all Edward Snowden" demonstration that took place on Saturday. There was also the less politically/socially important World Astra Beer Day to compete with, a couple of summer festivals, and whatever...lots of things were happening this past weekend.

I wasn't at any of them. Instead, when I wasn't making a 7-year-old fetch me mojitos and watching The Little Mermaid 2 (super awful, by the way), I was either preparing for or recovering from attending a wedding.

Coincidentally, the wedding ceremony took place on the Reeperbahn and ended around the time that the demonstrators also reached the Reeperbahn. So, it was kind of like I was sort of there...just doing something completely different and not carrying signs or wearing a Guy Fawkes mask or...actively participating in any way.

However, I can say that I was asked about 100,000,000 times over the course of the evening about my opinion regarding PRISM, the NSA, Snowden, data protection, Obama, etc and so forth, schieß mich tot. Not even just my opinion, but the "What do Americans think about [all of that stuff]?" It's one of my least favorite small talk party questions, alongside "What do Americans think about Germany?" and "Which do you like better: the US or Germany?"

These aren't new questions, but at this point, my guess is as good as theirs. I haven't lived in the US for awhile, I don't visit on a regular basis, and I've filtered the shit out of my Facebook feed. I tailor my responses based on my conversation partner (i.e., do they want an actual conversation or are they looking to confirm their preconceived notions?) and/or their level of inebriation (i.e., are they "cool" drunk or "dickbag" drunk?). Or my level of inebriation, for that matter.

It all ends up being (best case scenario) a frustrating game of "Ask an Ami" or (worst case scenario) a rousing round of "Obvious Troll is Obvious":

"Hey, Raven, what do you think of the NSA?"
"I've gotta say, I'm disappointed...that I can't give them *more* information about me. *wink wink*"

I haven't actually talked to anyone as yet who's like, "Whoa, pump the brakes...I'm really into the government spying on me." I know that these people exist and I don't want to downplay or minimize the ramifications of their existence, but circle jerk, preaching-to-the-choir conversations are also not very productive.

But, like I said, I'm not the person to turn to for enlightenment or an explanation on the matter. Odds are good that, if you're reading this, we're on the same page. Or that we're both trying to keep up with the flood of information about the tools available to protect ourselves.

That be continued. I do have one thing to add to the discussion, but my stupid wrist is tired of typing right now.

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