If you’ve ever used a search engine to research the object of your affection you are not alone. There are many sites out there that cater to helping you find out anything you want to know about another person. If you question your paramour even just a teensy weensy amount it can be difficult not to want to do a little checking. Trust doesn’t come easily to everyone, and it’s even harder to resist when it’s so easy to do. Just ask the NSA about LOVEINT, or Love Intelligence.
It seems the NSA has the power to look up anyone’s skirt at any time. Obviously there was outrage when Verizon admitted to giving them access to poke around in people’s communications, but one can hardly think this hasn’t always been the case or that it’s not happening across the board. If you’re online or using technology there is little doubt that you’re being monitored at some level. Some of us are simply less interesting than others, but most of us aren’t in relationships with NSA employees.
According to a statement from the NSA, these violations are rare (one a year perhaps) and most often self-reported. This is not to say the self-reported violations stemmed from feelings of guilt over spying on their spouse or lover. No, it typically came down to knowing they might fail a security clearance renewal polygraph. If so many of these rare occurrences are self reported, you have to wonder how many go undetected and unreported. How many co-workers snoop for a friend? “So Bob, that “project” you asked me to look into for you…” I have a feeling it’s more common than they let on. It’s not like they’ve really been above board about anything else.
Would you look if you had the power? Would you run a search and read the emails and text messages? I would like to believe that I’m better than that, but chances are that I’m not. On the flip side, there is a part of me that tells me that if I feel something is hinky I should probably just walk away. There are things I just wouldn’t want to know once I found them out. Aside from that, how many hours would I spend wading through ridiculous texts and emails that talk about golf, hunting, fishing, or the SI Swimsuit Edition? The most depressing thing of all might be finding out that my lover is incredibly boring.