As a former special operations "guy" I have more insight into the kinds of stuff the US government collects. I have still yet more insight because of the specific group that I got my orders from.
However, every time I see stuff like this:
It just drives me insane. The NSA has been effectively tapping, without knowledge of ANYONE, the direct servers of Apple, Google, and Facebook.
That means if you sent something privately from you to another person on facebook, that private message was tapped by the NSA. If you sent an email using Gmail then that private message too was tapped by the NSA.
I'm sorry but how in the world is that not a violation of the third amendment? Not that trifling things like the constitution is ever in the mind of a government bureaucrat.
Stuff like this is why I'm becoming ever more convinced that:
1) I firmly believe that we are headed toward a "double dip recession". Worse this "recession" is going to cause economic problems that made 2008 to 2010 look like a picnic
2) Because of a runaway fed the next recession is going to cause RAMPANT inflation.
3) Skyrocketing food prices, combined with a general dislike and distrust of the government (thanks to the government doing B.S. like this) is going to cause massive social upheaval.
And when I say massive ... I'm talking Syria level mayhem. Not exactly like that because we don't have the same religious "problems" that they do. But in some ways it may even be worse because the normal "allegiance" that keeps this country together is likely to disintegrate.
Now allow me to "revise and extend my remarks" that I just made.
1) The next recession is probably two or three years off
2) The following inflation is probably three or four years off
3) The social upheaval following that is probably five to seven years off (a longer delay because the government is certainly going to take steps to "soothe the masses" but I think they ultimately will fail).
Now please don't go thinking that I'm some "overthrow the government" type. That isn't the case.
I'm simply pointing the above out because
1) Learning methods to defend yourself are important and you should start now (again, actual self defense, your firearm is NOT actually a viable self defense weapon)
2) Setting up an AquaPonics system NOW, while the going is relatively good and you have time to experiment and learn is ABSOLUTELY something you should be doing. When food prices start to go flying through the roof you'll be able to absorb it without much difficulty.
In my opinion, self defense, and GROWING your own food (both protein sources and vegetables and such) are important to surviving what's coming.