As it turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, no matter how outraged the French may be publicly to find out the US is spying on them, Le Monde reports, The French are very likely doing the same. Yes, the French intelligence system is also sucking up gobs of data across the world for its systems.
Of course, like US intelligence services, they tell us, not to worry because it's "only metadata." Something tells me if metadata didn't matter, these intelligence services wouldn't be so damn interested in it.
Oh and it turns out the US postal services is also only collecting metadata about every letter that crosses through the system. But it's only metadata, they aren't actually reading the content; just collecting addresses, postmarks, postage and anything else they can determine from the outside.
That might actually bother me if I sent a personal letter anymore, but I rarely do except an occasional birthday card and it's not that difficult to track down the members of my immediate family and friends if you were determined to find out.
I'm sure every other country is doing it too because they can, because the technological capability is there and they just can't resist snooping.
Of course, they tell us that it's not really snooping, but make no mistake, it is.
But it got me thinking, maybe if all these spy agencies are spying on us and collecting all our data, maybe we should actually put them to work.
Yo, NSA, I'm having trouble tracking down an email I need. Could you be kind enough to send me the "metadata" so I can remember who sent it? Thanks.
Excuse me, post office, I want to send my Aunt Mabel a birthday card and I've lost her address, be a love and check your records and email it to me…if you know how to use email, that is.
It could work for business too. Excuse me, Mr. Surveillance State Freak, but my company just got a subpoena for all the files related to our purchase of XYZ corporation. It's a real pain to run searches against our systems, and since you've got all our files anyway, and the best search tools on the planet, would you mind doing the search for us and sending us everything you find?
Oh, excusez-moi, Monsieur French Espion. I've forgotten my bank log-on. Could you be a bon ami and just pass it along. Merci beaucoup.
You get the idea. One person's invasion of privacy is another person's government backup service. Who knows, this revelation could actually work out for us.
Photo Credit: Anonymous9000 on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.