In another turn of events that highlights privacy violations in the U.S., a grand jury is demanding personal information pertaining to posters in the comments section of an article. Their crime? Expressing their dissatisfaction over a federal judge’s verdict by making jokes in poor taste.
After Federal Judge Katherine Forrest issued a life sentence to Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, his supporters decided to vent their frustration online by cheekily suggesting someone should murder the judge in question. Apparently, neither she nor the rest of the American justice system found it funny, as up to eight posters are now being tracked by feds and will have to answer for their words.
Reason.com webmasters are being forced by law to turn over any pertinent information that could help the law identify the posters of these comments. Most of the comments made no threats towards the judge’s life whatsoever, which is apparently irrelevant – their authors will now be persecuted as if they have committed a felony.
The illusion of privacy online is just that – an illusion. The American government is tracking whomever it wants, and it’s a simple matter of obtaining the required legal documents before they can punish a person for something he or she did anonymously. With everyone’s online activity being tracked by feds 24/7, it falls upon each and every one of us to protect ourselves from Big Brother’s prying eyes.
The first and most obvious step is to never include your name or any relevant information when you post. Instead of posting logged in under Facebook or using your real first and last name, simply use the option to post anonymously or fill the required fields with a pseudonym. While this will provide some form of protection, it’s far from enough. Your IP address will still be left wherever you go, leaving you tracked by feds no matter what you do. Even local authorities can request your personal information from your ISP using nothing but your IP address.
Therefore, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the only feasible way of protecting your online activities. A VPN will encrypt all of your traffic regardless of your activities online, thereby making it impossible for anyone – including the government – to spy on you. Soon enough, privacy will become even more of a thing of the past as forums and websites find themselves tracked by feds as part of a so-called “crackdown on drugs”, with the authority growing increasingly bold in their attempts to violate Internet users’ rights.
The government has shown time and again that it has no regard for your privacy. Start using a VPN right now and prevent them from keeping an eye on you for another second.
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