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article imageBrowser extension intentionally triggers NSA spying as protest

By Justin King     Sep 23, 2013 in Internet
Civil disobedience takes a new and somewhat lighthearted turn with the introduction of Jeff Lyon’s new browser extension Flagger. The extension intentionally inserts NSA keywords into URL addresses in hopes of triggering false alarms.
The National Security Agency’s domestic spying program has been the subject of intense debate since it was revealed by Edward Snowden. As the calls to stop the program seem to have fallen on deaf ears in Washington, people are taking matters into their own hands. Installing Flagger, an open source program, on your computer adds words the NSA is likely looking for into innocent web addresses you are visiting.
The creator acknowledges that this is not a complete answer.
“Flagger is not a solution to the problem of unconstitutional government surveillance. Anyone who cares about this has a civic duty to engage in the democratic process and attack the problem at its root. But as long as the NSA continues to illegally spy on us, we have no reason to make their jobs any easier.”
It is, however, a humorous and non-violent form of protesting what many see as an unconstitutional spying program. Some of the additional words that are added into the web addresses are “dear_nsa” and “lulz.” Some of the more serious terms that will be inserted into the URL address are "taliban" and "bomb."
The Frequently Asked Questions page of the Flagger website contains links to high-profile cases where the government has arrested someone for a non-violent internet protest and the creator advises people that while he does not believe his program is illegal, he is not a lawyer. The page also has an image of the main gate of the internment center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
While Flagger is definitely in the “Use at your own risk” category of programs, it is likely to find a devoted following and user base in digital activists that have been manually adding extra data to posts in an attempt to clog the NSA’s spying program with bogus reports.
More about Nsa, Spying, PRISM, flagger
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