KAREN LEÓN

Updates from the Central Gulf Coast on News, Technology, and Education.

Electronic Eavesdropping: Shame on You!

“Don’t talk on the phone where people can hear you.”

Lee Kolbert's Tweet

Former National Security Agency (NSA) chief Michael V. Hayden learned a valuable lesson on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, while aboard an Amtrak train to Newark, New Jersey. Unfortunately for Hayden, he was on a personal telephone call and there was an individual sitting near him by the name of Tom Matzzie who was eavesdropping on his conversation.

Hayden’s topic of conversation focused on “President Barack Obama’s 2008 BlackBerry, which was modified to block foreign eavesdropping” and he took it upon himself to send a tweet.

Tom Matzzie's Tweet regarding Blackberry

 

 

 

 

When Matzzie determined what Hayden’s topic of conversation was about he became intrigued and began to tweet disparaging remarks of what he overhead from Hayden’s conversation without confirming the facts.

Matzzie & Hayden Photo

Once Hayden was done with his conversation, he received a tip that someone was eavesdropping, and he decided to get up and approach Matzzie.  Hayden felt he had nothing to hide and offered Matzzie an interview, which Matzzie declined because he was not a reporter. Both men discussed “The Fourth Amendment and NSA surveillance, Hayden posed for a photo with Matzzie.

Although both men discussed the issue at hand, Hayden had to clarify that “He wasn’t disparaging Obama or his administration” as Matzzie was tweeting. “I did not criticize the president,” Hayden clarified. Nancy Vasquez, from Spring Hill, Fla., emphasized that, “This event is sensitive in nature because it is dealing with our government and privacy issues regarding our country.” Vasquez has seen and experienced first hand how electronic eavesdropping can be misconstrued as it is evident in this event, and it can sometimes lead to tarnishing or ruining someone’s credibility or career. While reading the newspaper, she finds another article where the NSA is mentioned regarding electronic eavesdropping.

Nancy Vasquez was reading an article where  The NSA was caught Electronic Eavesdropping. (Photo taken by Karen León)

Nancy Vasquez was reading an article where
The NSA was caught Electronic Eavesdropping.
(Photo/Karen León)

Vasquez expressed several concerns, one being, “In today’s society one has to be very careful in making assumptions, because one is only hearing one side of the conversation.” She also has a concern about several elements that one has to consider; “What they are actually hearing while eavesdropping and the perception of the person eavesdropping.”

Electronic eavesdropping has become more prevalent in our society, and it has desensitized people to have no respect for others’ trust and privacy.  “We have become a society where we no longer think twice before we utilize various forms of social media to disseminate information and express how one feels without taking into consideration how it will be used,” expressed Vasquez.

Vasquez has gotten to the point where she is cautious in sending text messages that may be personal in nature because she is leery of whom she can trust and how that information can be used against her later.   Just recently, Vasquez experienced a situation where she had to give a colleague advice on being careful on what she texted because her text was read to Vasquez word for word.

Nancy Vasquez checking her text messages and  Facebook account with her Italian Greyhound, Hailey. (Photo taken by Karen León)

Nancy Vasquez checking her text messages and
Facebook account with her Italian Greyhound, Hailey.
(Photo/Karen León)

With technology evolving as rapidly as it is, one must be aware of their surroundings when communicating with others.  “Hayden held a position where he was privy to confidential information, which could have been addressed at a later time since it was sensitive in nature,” expressed Vasquez.

Indeed, Vasquez stated, ”Social media is changing the way in which people communicate in all aspects of life; therefore, one needs to be cautious and responsible of their words and actions.”

With technology evolving as rapidly as it is, one must be aware of their surroundings when communicating with others.  “Hayden held a position where he was privy to confidential information, which could have been addressed at a later time since it was sensitive in nature,” expressed Vasquez.

Indeed, Vasquez stated, ”Social media is changing the way in which people communicate in all aspects of life; therefore, one needs to be cautious and responsible of their words and actions.”

 

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