Is privacy dead in America?
Both the government and businesses are certainly driving us to that point. The NSA has gathered up our phone calls, email providers are perusing our messages for marketing purposes and then those lovely little apps on our smartphones — designed to make life easier — are tracking our every move.
And too often we hear the excuse, “You have nothing to worry about if you’ve done nothing wrong.”
As Americans, we believe that privacy is our right, but we’ve given up so much in the name of convenience and safety.
Looking out over the next 12 months, the biggest threat to privacy is growing quickly, but you’re not without options…
The Biggest Threat to Privacy
In Tuesday’s Sovereign Investor Daily, I chatted with Jeff Opdyke and Chad Shoop about what they think are the biggest threats to the market — both U.S. and foreign. I’m shifting gears a bit today and talking with our privacy and asset protection experts Ted and Bob Bauman, editors of Sovereign Confidential, as well as Brad Deflin. Brad is an online privacy expert and contributor to our monthly Sovereign Confidential newsletter.
Ahead of their appearance at Total Wealth Symposium in October, I asked all three gentlemen what they see as the biggest threat to privacy and what new threats they see on the horizon:
Ted: The biggest threat to privacy is simply the lack of respect it gets from everyone — government, the private sector and even ordinary people. If it’s taken for granted, it will disappear. I think the biggest looming danger is increasing application of sophisticated computer power to discern connections between different sets of data, including those that are encrypted. As a recent report on the TOR browser indicates, it is possible to identify Internet users even when they use full encryption, by “putting two and two together” using other data sources. We should assume that government and big data companies will make full use of this.
Bob: Government itself supported by the bipartisan political coalition that ignores the Constitution in favor of so-called “security” remains one of the biggest threats to Americans. The biggest threats to privacy on the horizon are:
- Failure of Congress to curb NSA mass surveillance.
- Failure to amend the PATRIOT Act.
- Soon-to-be imposed national ID laws using state motor vehicle licenses.
- Proposed restrictions on U.S. passports for alleged taxes.
Brad: The biggest threat to privacy is the ineptitude at the government and corporate sector level as it pertains to the sanctity of our personal information. The most ruthless, experienced and sophisticated criminal cartels on the planet are getting in the game and for the next five years, it’s the Wild West for individuals, families and small businesses.
The new threats are highly engineered attacks using the vast levels of information and details concerning our personal information that are being collected, curated and assembled for attacks directly at us, and the ones we care about most.
Take Steps to End Information Sharing
While the future looks bleak in terms of the biggest threat to privacy, you’re not without options for protecting yourself, your family and your assets. Ted, Bob and Brad each have interesting insight into what steps you can take next.
Ted: I think we are moving toward a one-world financial information sharing system, which will lead to a de facto global taxation regime. It’s already clear that economic activity has little regard for national boundaries, and national-level regulation of economic life is rapidly fading away, to be replaced by global systems. Taxation will follow suit.
Just as quickly as government and other actors close off opportunities, smart people are finding ways to open new ones. We’ve taken money for granted, and it lies at the heart of so much of what threatens us. The answer is to look to other ways to store and transact value — approaches that don’t involve actual currency. That’s what we talk about all the time in Sovereign Confidential.
Bob: One of the most effective ways to protect your assets as your privacy dwindles is to invest in precious metals and store them offshore. I also believe that it is important to keep quantities of cash in dollars, but also in other currencies such as the Swiss franc.
Brad: You can do something about the threat to your privacy and mitigate the risk significantly without considerable expense or change. Tremendous amounts of fresh capital on behalf of the smartest investors in the world are empowering entrepreneurs to develop innovative technology and solutions that are getting better, easier, faster and cheaper, and effectively defend from the escalating risks we face.
The key? Some awareness and positioning in front of these mega-trends with long-term solutions that take you off the grid and add stealth to your digital presence and activities. Turn the spigot of your personal information off and gain autonomy again while you still can.
Learn From the Experts
It’s becoming clear that as the financial situation in America grows grimmer, there is an increase of attacks against the sovereignty of her citizens. The government is becoming more aggressive in its attacks on your privacy and it’s important that you take steps now to protect yourself.
That’s why we are bringing Ted, Brad and many other asset protection and privacy experts to the Total Wealth Symposium in The Bahamas from October 14 through 17. There you will get the advice on the latest techniques and overlooked solutions. You can also chat with many of our experts to learn more.
But you need to reserve your seats. We have limited space and they are going fast as we count down to the end of our special early-bird pricing. Next week the price of the Total Wealth Symposium goes up.
For full details and to reserve your seat, click here.
Sr. Managing Editor, Sovereign Investor Daily