Re: Just Because I'm Paranoid Re: The Inevitable Conclusion
".....If you are a member of the military you are already on the watch list....." In the UK, yes, as you will have signed the acknowledgement for the Official Secrets Act. Do bear in mind that, just like Santa, there is a 'naughty' list and a 'nice' list, the 'nice' list having some advantages when you apply for security-related jobs (a bit like having a good credit-rating). But, depending on who you start mixing with, you can be moved from the 'nice' list to the 'naughty' one. Being on the 'nice' lists means if you do certain activity (such as taking a holiday in Cuba) you may get flagged for further attention. I'm pretty sure it's the same for Yanks.
"....If you work for a defense related company you are already on the watch list....." In the UK, only if you work in a 'sensitive' area. If your company is in the defence industry and did a security check on you before employing you then you may be on the 'nice' list (or the 'naughty' list if you got rejected for the job due to your background). I have no idea how it works for such US employees but I'd hazard a guess it is the same.
"....Apparently if you use Linux, or Tor, or read Linux Journal, or read this ... you are already on the watch list....." No. It would simply generate far too large a pool of references. I suspect, given that XKeyScore allegedly offers the ability to filter on whatever you like (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/01/xkeyscore_leak_challenged/), there was no filters specifically for TOR or TAILS or any Linux-related activity, it's one of many filters that may have been used to narrow down a search for specific black hats such as the Syrian Electronic Army. Of course, it plays to the TORists' egos to baaaah-lieve they are 'sticking it to The Man', and it is certain the NSA and GCHQ do have a big interest in some of the traffic going through TOR, though probably not the geeks running it. The chances that the TORists have a real search list from the NSA is remote to zero seeing as their claims do not match what we already know about XKeyScore. It doesn't help that certain El Reg columnists seem more interested in using melodramatic headlines rather than a bit of commonsense.
"....If the AI marks you as a potential future trouble maker, expect that eventually you will be quietly sidelined...." No. Apart form the fact there is no 'AI', XKeyScore is just a search tool, so it needs a human being to make that decision. If such decisions were being made they would require the NSA/GCHQ to be contacting people in companies all over the place, in widely divergent fields, and saying 'don't hire or promote Bob', which would have come to public attention years ago as there is no guarantee the boss of any such company would be pro-NSA/GCHQ. So, sorry, but if you didn't get a job or didn't get a promotion, look in the mirror and stop blaming The Man.
"....Eventually the AI will get good enough to pick children likely to become trouble makers....." Yes and no. Firstly, still no AI - it's just a search tool. But, if you have family on the 'naughty' list, depending on how 'naughty' they have been you may already have been added to the 'naughty' list as a prospective 'bad person'. This is more likely in 'family-orientated' causes such as Islamism, less likely in socio-political-orientated causes such as the ALF nutters.
"....These children will discover higher hurdles in their education and future jobs. Again they will be steered into "safe", "low risk", low paying jobs....." That is just more of the conspiracy sheeple fail, see above about how the massive conspiracy would be unable to remain hidden. Your kids may be screwed because they are brought up in a paranoid household/commune with moronic 'values' but that would be your fault, not The Man's. Tell them to look in the mirror as well.
"....If you are a "trouble maker" your children will automatically be marked as "trouble makers"...." Possibly, depending on your definition of 'trouble maker'. If it is someone that donates to dodgy Islamic charities, frequently visit jihadi websites, visits mosques frequented by known Islamists, regularly mixes with those same Islamists, and has traveled to areas of the World where Islamists operate, it is a pretty safe bet that person and their children will be on a list. If your definition is joined a 'Marxist/Green/whatever' group at college when in your heavy-toking phase, attended some anti-nuke/anti-homophobia/anti-globalist demo whilst stoned, since got smart and moved on, then no. The NSA and GCHQ are looking for people with 'bad' intentions, not morons.
"....Eventually the AI will get good enough to pick which children will make charismatic, "right thinking", leaders. These children will find help and encouragement in their education and jobs. They will be steered into positions of power....." Yeah, you really need to loosen up the tinfoil. If the people around you are doing better it is because they are trying harder or are just better equipped to succeed in this World. Once again, look in the mirror for the source of your problems and failings.
"....Currently there is the computing equivalent of a desktop PC dedicated to watching each person on the watch list...." And your proof of this is.... Oh, you don't have any, you just got it off conspiracyloons.com (before you misunderstand the sarcasm and go check for the evidence which you hope will prove your deepest paranoid fantasies are The Truth, that website does not exist).
If you are on any watch lists, it is more likely to be one run by your local psychiatrist's office.