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Online Actions That Spark NSA Monitoring

The Browsing Habits That Spark NSA Monitoring

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Simply using certain encryption services or investigating alternatives to Microsoft Windows could get you placed under surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence organizations, according to a new report.

Utilizing encryption solutions such as TOR could result in monitoring by the NSA and its allies, including Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to the report in the German me­dia out­let Ta­gesschau.

The NSA tracks people with a surveillance tool called XKeyscore.

“Anyone who is determined to be using Tor is also targeted for long-term surveillance and retention,” Corey Doctorow wrote at the blog.

The German outlet said computer experts watched the XKeyscore code and found that the NSA was constantly monitoring TOR users on servers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the National Journal reported.

Learn How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

TOR is a program that lets a person stay private by routing communications through computers and servers all over the world. It makes it much harder for the NSA and other agencies to track.

Other Behaviors the NSA Regards as Dangerous

The German report listed a number of seemingly innocent and harmless behaviors that can trigger NSA surveillance, the National Journal said. They include:

  • Going to Linux Journal, a popular forum for the open-sourced operating system Linux. The NSA apparently regards Linux Journal as an extremist forum.
  • Searching for information about Tails, a popular operating system used by human rights advocates.
  • Searching for information about any Windows alternative.
  • Searching for information about online privacy.

“The better able you are at protecting your privacy online, the more suspicious you become,” National Journal’s Paul Tucker wrote.

NSA buildingDoctorow, writing at, said the NSA surveillance goes beyond the explainable.

“Tor and Tails have been part of the mainstream discussion of online security, surveillance and privacy for years,” Doctorow wrote. “It’s nothing short of bizarre to place people under suspicion for searching for these terms.”

The NSA, he added, isn’t being honest about its surveillance.

“It’s a dead certainty that people who heard the NSA’s reassurances about ‘targeting’ its surveillance on people who were doing something suspicious didn’t understand that the NSA meant people who’d looked up technical details about systems that are routinely discussed on the front page of every newspaper in the world,” Doctorow wrote.

One expert Doctorow spoke with “suggested that the NSA’s intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats” – that is, to separate people who don’t care about their privacy from people “who have the technical know-how to be private.”

XKeyscore apparently tracks individuals online by using fingerprint triggers that activate whenever certain information is detected.

Do you believe the NSA is constantly monitoring our Internet behavior? Do you support NSA surveillance? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. Well I use Tor all the time and run a socnicwall wifi-router that blocks most of the outbound traffic from devices on my LAN and it blocks all the windows call home HTTPS request and updated for win-10

    Firefox is not to be trusted on Android devices because it uses DLNA to querry media devices on the network and collects the serial numbers and meta data from each device to be used later as a super cookie and its not like the Firefox browers has any reason to use DLNA since it does not allow streaming to media devices.

    Tor and Tails need to stop using Firefox because they get money from Google each year and the developers are not on the side of the users who want a bit of privacy

  2. I guess I’m on their list just by posting here.
    After all, doesn’t this site separate us from the sheeple?

  3. The nsa today is FILLED with GenY IDIOTS
    Who couldn’t code their way out of a paper bag!

    I design n tape-out my own cpu’s, build my own
    cables, make my own motherboards and displays, Program my own compilers, assemblers, network gear, OS and Browsers

    They can’t do DOO DOO cuz those brainterds
    at the nsa have the patience of fleas and BRAINS
    of a Worm! When they can do ANY ONE the above ONLY THEN get back to me! Otherwise they are
    A cesspool of over-entitled know-nothing GenX
    And GenY’s have haven’t the faintest clue what
    Int-21 is much less what it does !!! If u dnt knw
    that ur just another USELESS EATER N IDIOT !!!


  5. It doesn’t surprise me that “the NSA was constantly monitoring TOR users on servers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory”.

    What percentage of those users were foreign nationals?

    What percentage of the messages from there were to or from other countries?

    The NSA would be violating its charter not to keep close tabs on such communications.

    Alleged-domestic monitoring but the NSA concerns me, but monitoring communications in and out of the country and foreign communications what the NSA was created for.

    Full disclosure (as much as the law allows): I know the NSA a file on me, 42 years ago, as part of my job, I was writing reports addressed to DIRNSA (Director NSA).

    • Anon……I call BS.

      That would put you right in the middle of the whole Watergate affair….

      And I’m seriously doubting that anyone from that era would be posting on a silly off-grid OPEN website for all to see….

      Cool story, though…

  6. i landed on the list a while ago. i hit about 50/72 on the list of what constitutes a right wing extremist. i’ve labeled myself an anarchist and my fakebook/spybook page is dedicated to exposing the NWO and awakening my family of sheeple. we have the tor browser that we use occasionally. yeah, i’m on a watch list. molan labe. sincerely christian anarchist

  7. I’m innocent!!! I accidentally clicked on this article by mistake.

  8. AnonymousPrepper

    I know they’re watching me and I’m watching them watch me, it’s a fun cat and mouse game!

  9. I know the NSA is already monitoring me, I say so what ? I think everyone else should take that standpoint. Sites such as this that promote independence , self-reliance and getting off-grid as well as speaking against the size and power of the ever-increasing govt, are being watched for the traffic that comes here. All political forums, ect are being monitored also. The NSA database centers are huge. It’s just like an Orwellian dystopia. There is no getting off their list, so why worry about it or even try to go quiet ? Keep on keeping on.

    • Cool hand Luke is right. Just yesterday I had a discussion with a friend about how if everyone ignored the nsa stuff & just did their own thing we’d all end up on the list. It’s not much of a list if it contains the majority of the population right? Easy to stand out on a short list, much harder on a huge list. Also, we all know we’re doing nothing wrong so f$&@ the list.

    • It’s all about fully-informed prior consent. Consent of the governed, and all that. Don’t say, “So what?” because then you’re actually consenting. It’s important to be clear that we DO NOT CONSENT, despite our lacking the power to stop the betrayals and violations. The more people who clearly state on the record that they DO NOT CONSENT the better the true will of the people will be manifested.

  10. A Concerned Citizen

    I’m far more concerned about commercial entities or third party individuals monitoring my Internet usage. When people I work with want to ask about what I was looking at on the Internet from home the night before… that justifies using programs like TOR. Corporations are a far more incidious threat to our freedom.

  11. So you’re telling me that I’m now going to be under surveillance because I came across this website from a search for “ways to make essential oils at home” & there happens to be an article on here pertaining to that? Sounds extreme to me.

    • Forgedthroughflames

      But that’s not fair! I was just looking at a page about alternatives to wood-burning stoves, and clicked “next.” And what if a person was just searching “internet privacy” to learn about how to keep their personal information safe from identity thieves online?

  12. No comment. …..I was never here, just a system error.

  13. 10/02/16 It Finally Happened: America Gave up the Internet Today to the UN has suffered serious damage to the script which controls the operation of the website. We are unable to repair it and we lack the funds to pay for professional help. We wanted to fight for you. At the most crucial moment for the internet, America, and the world, our voice has been silenced. It happened at the moment the internet was lost. We fought from the day Bush rigged the election and plunged the world into war and repression until now. We loved you America, we loved you internet, good by.

  14. All useless talk.

    Want to NOT be surveilled? Then unplug. I don’t care what you know or build or install. The only real way to keep them out of your pants is to unplug, period.

    Is that realistic? Maybe, but not impossible. We did it just a mere 25 years ago and thousands of years before that.

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