Bloomberg has an interesting article that points out that the broad NSA information gathering tends to gather information on ordinary folks (not suspected of crime) but misses the really hard core jihadis and criminals, who manage to hide their stuff from easy scrutiny.
In a January 2012 report titled “Jihadism on the Web: A Breeding Ground for Jihad in the Modern Age,” the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service drew a convincing picture of an Islamist Web underground centered around “core forums.” These websites are part of the Deep Web, or Undernet, the multitude of online resources not indexed by commonly used search engines.So grandmom's "LOL Cat" emails that she sends all over the world will probably be watched, but not the pedophiles using TOR and certainly not the jihadis.
I'm sure that makes you fell better.
this old NBC news article on the "underweb" notes the same thing:
When the German Foreign Office hosted a human rights conference several months ago, one of the invited guest organizations was the Tor Project. The Tor Project runs a secure, anonymous network and distributes free software used by dissidents and free speech activists worldwide. Activists in countries like Syria and Ethiopia use Tor regularly. The Tor Project, in fact, receives funding from the United States State Department for that very purpose.
There's a catch, however. The same secure communications Tor offers have attracted spies, criminals, and pedophiles alongside political dissidents.
And if I, a lowly grandmom in the rural Philippines, knows about TOR (I've posted about it and where you can download the software in the past), why doesn't the NSA know about it.
And the "good news"?
Wait until Obamacare and the gov't push to computerize medical records becomes universal.
Then not only Grandmom's "Lol cat" emails will be sucked into a black hole for big brother to monitor, but you will find her pap smears and medical history there.