Sunday, June 23, 2013

Is the NSA Monitoring Me …or You!

It had been quite a while, but just this past June 8th I received a call from an international number. Then, watching Dick Cheney on FOX News via our Roku, I heard him vehemently defend the data mining efforts of the NSA. He claimed it provides valuable information and is only employed in regards to international phone calls. (of course I am paraphrasing here)

A thought snapped into my mind. I felt a bit enraged. I went to the Internet and did a reverse number search on the number from the missed call I had received. It was from Morocco. The first of such calls I had received since I started with a regional cell phone provider about a year ago. Last night I tried to call the number and could not make a connection. I am not sure if it was because of my plan, but not being a wealthy man, having been underemployed some eight years, I did not try to track down the number by paying an Internet service, or make effort to call the other numbers I had dug up from over a year ago.

Yes, I was a Verizon customer and had received many such calls when I was with them. Some I answered and heard a foreign voice to whom I told they had the wrong number. It was clear these were individuals and not representatives of a company or some scammer or salesman.

I checked my old Verizon bills; no number listings. I pulled out my old phone and looked for days to find the old charger without success.  Finally I went to a Verizon retailer and a salesman helped me charge my phone. My call history went back to 9/11/11. To the point, I received a call from this same Moroccan number in March of last year along with a call from Chandigarh India, near Pakistan. In months previous I received calls from three different Liberian numbers. Liberia was linked to a scandal concerning blood diamonds and Al Qaeda.

I sent all this information to my Senator. I also informed him that I had received many more calls than this from numbers of foreign origin and completely foreign to myself. In fact previous to one 9/11, I received so many calls from African nations that I felt compelled to go to the FBI website and inform them; providing them with the numbers. I received no response. I received no real response from Verizon when I had called them numerous times about these unusual activities.

Or could these be simple glitches in the system. After all these last couple weeks I have received calls from my wife and her from me that neither of us made. In fact One call I checked after the fact and was surprised it had been my wife because the ringtone had not been the one I have  assigned to her number, or I would have answered the phone.

Could I be targeted by the NSA for errant phone calls? What of the privacy of those in international business and markets? Some are making a big fuss over Edward Snowden and his leaking of valuable information he had access to after working three months. Could terrorist elements have already intuited such tactics (have you seen the show ‘Person of Interest’) so they are sending out an assortment of bogus random calls to cover their true contact? Or in a most fearful scenario, could the NSA target U.S. citizens by instigating calls from foreign lands, and monitor them without warrant? Time to check your call histories and contact your Senators and representatives.